While Protomarytr is at work on their followup to Under Color of Official Right (my favorite record of 2014), the Detroit, MI staples got into the studio with Kelley Deal’s side project, R. Ring. The session produced a split single A Half of Seven on Hardly Art, which features the R. Ring track “Loud Underneath,” and “Blues Festival” from Protomartyr.
With Under Color of Official Right, the band moved away from their dead simple but catchy punk songs that’s throughout their earlier releases to more atmospheric and minimal guitar work. “Blues Festival” is a marriage of the two different sides of Protomartyr. The single is anchored by a Greg Ahee chunky guitar riff, hard coated in nasty distortion, which at times transitions into a catchy frenetic power bit. Frontman Joe Casey, still edifying listeners, bellows off a list of don’t and what hell is (“Hell is forever being local support”). Split single partner, Kelley Deal, also provides auxiliary vocals throughout the track.
By the time most artists/bands get to LP 3, they’re already itching to leave their comfort zone. But with Protomartyr, why bother ruining a good thing?