Protomartyr’s new EP, Consolation, extends the the punishing awe of 2017’s stupendous Relatives in Descent. Yet Consolation also feels like a sturdy bridge between its preceding full-length and what’s to come next. That is especially true in its two latter songs, “Wheel of Fortune” and “You Always Win”, both featuring backing vocals from Kelley Deal. The latter is a standout not just on the EP but in Protomartyr’s canon, employing bass clarinet and strings and producing a strangely beautiful offering from a sometimes sonically brutal band. Deal’s vocals add a real body to the tune, and after sharing aggressive shouts of “I decide who lives and who dies” with Protomartyr vocalist Joe Casey on “Wheel of Fortune”, “You Always Win” comes as equally jarring and comforting. Protomartyr has yet to let us down, and Consolation assures that they aren’t going to anytime soon.
15 June 2018