Grand Slams in Music & Opinions on Protomartyr

Grand Slams

As baseball fans turn their attention to the World Series, Jim and Greg are eager to step up to the plate. They share their favorite examples of musical Grand Slams: four knockout albums in a row. Then they review the new record from Detroit post-punk band Protomartyr.

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Musical Grand Slams

With Chicago baseball trying to keep their heads up during this World Series, we thought we’d inject a little joyous noise into this baseball season. Jim and Greg team up with Len Kasper, TV voice of the Chicago Cubs, to pay homage to their version of a Grand Slam. We all know how this works in baseball (though sports-phobe Jim DeRogatis is still getting the hang of the rules). A batter hits a home run with bases loaded, sending four players to home plate. In music, Jim and Greg define a grand slam as four masterpiece albums in a row. Which artists have achieved this rarest of rock feats? Jim and Greg sit down to compare stats.

Greg

Jim

The Agent Intellect Protomartyr

The Agent Intellect

Detroitpost-punk band and former Sound Opinions guests Protomartyr earned a lot of notice for its second album Under Color of Official Right. It also placed high on Greg’s Best of 2014 list. Now they’ve returned with a new record titled The Agent Intellect. Jim lauds vocalist Joe Casey’s ability to write very smart yet moving lyrics, powerfully exploring his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. The band’s musical approach, which reflects both the bleakness and the pride of contemporary Detroit, places them among the all-time great bands of the Motor City. Jim particularly points toward the propulsive yet sleek drumming of Alex Leonard. Greg agrees, saying that against expectations, Protomartyr improves with each album. Casey’s lyrics fall in the literary tradition of a Nelson Algren or Charles Bukowski, but are filled with emotion rather than pretention. The band doesn’t waste any notes, instead delivering precise jabs. Greg even goes so far as to call Protomartyr one of the Great American Bands who are resurrecting the entire art form. Both critics give The Agent Intellect an enthusiastic Buy It.

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