Protomartyr (band)

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Protomartyr at Sled Island 2016
Background information
OriginDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active2010–present
Associated actsButt Babies
  • Joe Casey
  • Greg Ahee
  • Alex Leonard
  • Scott Davidson
Past members
  • Kevin Boyer

Protomartyr is an American rock band formed in 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. It features Joe Casey on vocals, Greg Ahee on guitar, Alex Leonard on drums and Scott Davidson on bass guitar.


Prior to Protomartyr, Greg Ahee and Alex Leonard were performing as a duo, which was named Butt Babies. They were soon joined by Joe Casey, who started to perform on vocals at Butt Babies shows. Kevin Boyer of Tyvek joined Protomartyr on bass and second guitar for a short time before leaving the act due to the working schedules with his other band. As Scott Davidson joined the band on bass, Butt Babies transformed into Protomartyr.[1][2]

The band released their debut album, No Passion All Technique in 2012 via Urinal Cake Records.[2] This was followed by "Colpi Proibiti" in the same year, via X! Records.[2] Their second studio album, Under Color of Official Right, was released in April 2014 via Hardly Art record label.[3] A third studio album, The Agent Intellect, followed in October 2015.[4] The album was critically acclaimed, being rated 85/100 on accumulator website Metacritic,[5] and featured in best of 2015 lists in The A.V. Club,[6] Chicago Tribune,[7] Rolling Stone,[8] Metacritic,[9] Spin,[10] and Consequence of Sound.[11]

Protomartyr signed to Domino Records in 2017, and released fourth studio album, Relatives in Descent, on the label in September 2017.[12]

The band has extensively toured in the United States and Europe[13] and performed at SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, Pitchfork Music Festival, and others.[14]

Musical style[edit]

The band's music has been labeled as post-punk[1][14][15][16][17] and punk rock.[17] Josh Terry of Consequence of Sound stated that the band "blends the moody atmospherics of ‘70s U.K. post-punk with the raw sensibility of their Motor City garage-rock forebears."[16] The band's sound was compared to other post-punk acts such as Wire, the Fall, Pere Ubu, the Constantines and Iceage,[1][18] as well as local acts, most notably Tyvek.[17] Vocalist Joe Casey also expressed appreciation for Pere Ubu and the Fall.[1][2]

Casey's baritone vocals were also compared to those of Ian Curtis of Joy Division, Mark E. Smith of the Fall and Nick Cave.[2][16][19][20]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Joe Casey – vocals
  • Greg Ahee – guitar
  • Alex Leonard – drums
  • Scott Davidson – bass guitar

Past members[edit]

  • Kevin Boyer (Tyvek) – bass, guitar


Studio albums[edit]


  • Consolation (2018, Domino)


  • "Dreads 85 84"(7") (2012, Urinal Cake Records)
  • "Colpi Proibiti" (7") (2012, X! Records)
  • "Dope Cloud" (2015, Hardly Art)
  • "Scum, Rise!" (2015, Hardly Art)
  • "My Children" (2017, Domino)
  • "Don't Go To Anacita" (2017, Domino)
  • "Pontiac '87/Forbidden" (split w/Preoccupations) (2018)

Other releases[edit]

  • Vari-Speed Mithridates (2013,Gold Tapes)
  • Dredging The Grotto (2015)


  1. ^ a b c d DeVille, Chris (March 5, 2014). "Band To Watch: Protomartyr". Stereogum. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Callwood, Brett (January 16, 2013). "Punk N' Disorderly". Metro Times. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  3. ^ McGovern, Kyle (January 10, 2014). "Stream Protomartyr's Post-Punk Punisher 'Scum, Rise!'". Spin. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Coughlan, Jamie. "Protomartyr Announce New Album, Share 'Why Do They Shake?', Tour Dates". Overblown. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  5. ^ The Agent Intellect by Protomartyr, retrieved 2017-11-15
  6. ^ Rytlewski, Evan. "The 15 best albums of 2015". Music. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg. "Best albums of 2015: Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett and more". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  8. ^ "Rob Sheffield's Top 20 Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  9. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  10. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Spin. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  11. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2015". Consequence of Sound. 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  12. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (2017-09-28). "Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent review – sensational, bloodied but unbowed post-punk". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  13. ^ "5 Questions with: Protomartyr". BrooklynVegan. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Roberts, Randall (March 16, 2014). "SXSW 2014: All hail the losers, the misanthropes and the unhip". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  15. ^ Larson, Jeremy (February 25, 2014). "Protomartyr - "Come & See"". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  16. ^ a b c Terry, Josh (February 26, 2014). "Listen: Protomartyr's new song "Come & See"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c DeVille, Chris (January 10, 2014). "Protomartyr – "Scum, Rise!"". Stereogum. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  18. ^ Hann, Michael (March 6, 2014). "Protomartyr: Detroit punk strikes back". The Guardian. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  19. ^ McDermott, Patrick (February 24, 2014). "Stream: Protomartyr, "Come & See"". The Fader. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  20. ^ Minsker, Evan (June 17, 2013). "Protomartyr - No Passion All Technique". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 31, 2014.

External links[edit]