PROTOMARTYR Processed by the Boys gets 8/10


Processed by the Boys


Protomartyr have carved their place as one of the core post-punk bands of this generation, with admirers in Shame and Idles who are punk behemoths in their own right. The Agent Intellect from 2017 was the biggest release of the year in the genre, solidifying the group’s abrasive sound that often pairs harrowing instrumentals against frontman Joe Casey’s deep, world-weary vocals.

Current single Processed by the Boys indicates that the group is not slowing down anytime soon. The groove is more deliberate than ever before, driven by a reverberating riff that doesn’t let up the entire track.

The lyrics seem to talk of the end times and, intentional or not, are oddly prescient given the current coronavirus scare. The more anxious among you may want to avoid this one, with its talk of an ending coming like a “dagger plunged from out of the shadows,” a “cosmic grief beyond all comprehension.”

The “fiction” refrain is boldly relevant as well, given some of the exploitative scare-mongering we’ve seen amidst this crisis courtesy of the media. The line “processed by the boys” is left for us to question. Is it a scream against the patriarchal meat-grinder? Or perhaps it just sounds cool. The same can be said for the song. Whatever its meaning, it’s a dark slab of gothic post punk that’s well worth your time.


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