Track Review – Why Does It Shake? / Protomartyr

If you like Protomartyr and you like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, here is everything you’ve ever wanted. This is the song I’ve always wanted out of Protomartyr, formerly known for their Strokes-ish post-punk and quick tracks consisting of Joe Casey stuttering out his wordy lyrics backed by distorted instruments left, right and centre. However, on the taster track for their third record The Agent Intellect, they transform into a ghoulish noise-rock quartet melting from grinding Sonic Youth rhythms into ear-piercing guitar breakdowns. It’s nothing short of one of the best songs Protomartyr have put out yet.

Joe Casey growls ‘I am the founder of myself / And I’m never gonna lose it’ and ‘The body / why does it shake?’. Casey is one of the most underrated songwriters around, the kind you imagine to find deep into a Bukowski collection, but with his own original observations. ‘Why Does It Shake’ occupies itself with losing things (memory, mostly), the mind, the body. However, the biggest contribution to the song is the carnival-esque noises in the background, the time changes halfway into the track and Casey’s performance throughout. Protomartyr are on track to top another underrated album.


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