by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Proto Idiot… clever name or apt description? You be the judge! The Manchester trio have been making garage-influenced art punk for over a decade now with releases on Slovenly, Trouble In Mind, and beyond. Their latest album, Find Out For Themselves, is out today via their new home at Third Uncle Records (Air-Sea Dolphin, Bardo Pond, Major Stars), another fitting label to release the band’s acerbic punk that proves once again, these gents are only playing dumb. Sharp and built on razor sharp rhythms, they have a unique ability to make songs that feel as anthemic as they do discordant. It’s all the post-punk jitteriness you can spoon up with a heart that’s pure blown-out power-pop. Which is all to say that Proto Idiot are having fun making noise that’s both abrasive and ultimately accessible… if you’re open to it.
They bounce around from place to place, keeping a prevailing tone throughout while shifting their attack in every direction. The album bursts open with the taught “Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy,” a welcome introduction with its flag planted firmly in the post-punk renaissance but it’s where it heads from there that’s so intriguing as “Prokel Yokel” is a nasty stomping cow-punk influenced hardcore song, twangy and snarling, and utterly brilliant. Blistering riffs and stampeding rhythms run themselves ragged with stop-and-start aggression that explodes several times in less than two minutes. From there anything the comes next is anyone’s guess. There’s the inescapably catchy “I Like To Think,” the stuttering punch of “Nothing To It,” and the yelped punk dirge of “Fed Up of Being Stupid.” Track after track, Proto Idiot are slightly changing the rules, each song radiant in its own clever deviance (and more often, innocence). It feels good to play this one loud.