Hey, everyone enjoyed ‘Why Does It Shake?’, so the new Protomartyr single has a lot to live up to. ‘Dope Cloud’s lyrics, like most songs by Protomartyr, are intellectual and often funny, but the instrumentation fails to live up to ‘Why Does It Shake?’s lolloping carnival tunes. There’s textbook indie rock here, jagged guitars that occasionally take too much of a centre stage over Joe Casey’s lyrics about ‘the spoils of the pizza king’. There’s nothing particularly wrong about the instrumentation, it’s just very have I heard this somewhere before? It shows that Protomartyr are firmly sticking to the sound that they settled into on last years Under Color Of Official Right. But when it’s deployed here, nothing hits hard.
Meanwhile, Casey’s lyrics are as cryptic and intellectual as ever. He sings about a ‘dope cloud that’s descending on this town / blowing gold dust into the pockets’. Repeated murmuring of ‘That’s not gonna save you man’ create a creepy, almost apocalyptic scenario playing out in this town. Cue the vague criticisms of religion as ‘You dedicate your life to prayer / you suffer in silence there’. While ‘Dope Cloud’ is a decent track, in the grand scheme of things it’s another Protomartyr song. Some slight changes in sound could really make a difference if we’re about to get an albums worth of songs with little instrumental change. The glowing light, as always, is Casey.