Post-punk is a hard genre for a band, lacking the easy appeal of even indie-rock or alt-pop, yet doesn’t have the critical hook of truly out-there genres such as noise-rock or techno. It’s also hard to do well, but there are a few who do it right, from OGs Wire to today’s Protomartyr. The Detroit group take their sound to new highs, as the world goes to new lows, on Ultimate Success Today.
While written & recorded last year, one could be forgiven for thinking that Today is a product of today, in all of its frustrating horror. From the strong, dark procession of opener “Day Without End” to the hard wistfulness of closer “Worm In Heaven”, Today is a record that cries out amid the gloom. “Processed By the Boys” brings the crush of awful reality, while “Bridge & Crown” is a more subdued resign. Meanwhile, “I Am You Now” is a great post-punk kiss-off.
Post-punk is the sound of life after you’ve rebelled and lost, of looking life straight in the eye and knowing that it ain’t gonna get any better. Is there a better ballad for Today than that?