PROTOMARTYR

Psyko Steve Presents

PROTOMARTYR

LARS FINBERG, THE FATHER FIGURES

Tue, October 17, 2017

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Rebel Lounge

Phoenix, AZ

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

PROTOMARTYR
PROTOMARTYR
fter a year of extensive touring in support of 2015’s The Agent Intellect, Protomartyr returned to their practice space in a former optician's office in Southwest Detroit. Guitarist Greg Ahee—inspired by The Raincoats' Odyshape, Mica Levi's orchestral compositions, and Protomartyr's recent collaboration with post-punk legends The Pop Group, for Rough Trade's 40th anniversary—began writing new music that artfully expanded on everything they’d recorded up until that point. The result is Relatives in Descent, their fourth full-length and Domino debut. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme: the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that unknowing. This, at a moment when disinformation and garbled newspeak have become a daily reality.

“I used to think that truth was something that existed, that there were certain shared truths, like beauty,” says singer Joe Casey. “Now that’s being eroded. People have never been more skeptical, and there’s no shared reality. Maybe there never was.”

Relatives in Descent offers new layers and new insights, without sanding any of the edges born from their days as a Detroit bar band. Ahee’s guitar still crackles and spits electricity. Casey's voice continues to shift naturally between dead-eyed croon and fevered bark. Drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson remain sharp and propulsive, a rhythm section that’s as agile as it is adventurous. But this is also Protomartyr at their most impressive. After months of rehearsal, the band decamped to Los Angeles, California for two weeks in March of 2017, to record at 64Sound in Highland Park. Co-produced and recorded with Sonny DiPerri (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors), who helped capture the band’s long-simmering vision for something more complex, but no less visceral, Relatives in Descent also features contributions from violinist Tyler Karmen and additional synths by Cheveu’s Olivier Demeaux.

It all begins with "A Private Understanding,” pegged as the album's opening statement the second it was finished, and a wellspring from which the following eleven songs flow. At once beautiful and brutal, it mutates from drum-led oddity to unlikely anthem, with some of Casey’s most potent lyrical work at its center: “Sorrow's the wind blowing through/Truth is hiding in the wire.” He’d originally approached the writing on this album as an opportunity to move away from the anger and personal despair that defined much of Protomartyr’s previous three albums. But a lot has happened in the past two years. Disturbed by happenings both local (the ongoing, man-made tragedy of the Flint water crisis) and national (just about everything), Casey drew influence from the songwriting of Ben Wallers, the recently translated stories of Irish writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain, and Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, a sprawling, 17th century masterwork that provided both solace and confirmation.

One can hear these influences throughout, be it in the wary reportage of “Here Is The Thing” or the uncanny menace of "Windsor Hum", the shining city of "Don't Go To Anacita” or the triptych of delusions both "good" and "bad" that is "Up The Tower", "Night-Blooming Cereus", and "Male Plague". In the end, Relatives in Descent offers a small light in the darkness, while never denying that we are all just standing in the dark.
THE FATHER FIGURES
THE FATHER FIGURES
Elder statesmen of the often fractured, but secretly burgeoning Phoenix music scene, the Father Figures sound "melds urgency with intelligence, catchiness with dissonance, and sophistication with blunt force."* Featuring Michael Cornelius on guitar, Tom Reardon on bass and vocals, and Bobby Lerma on drums they create what they laughingly call post-skate-punk, although defining their own sound is not a matter that they take lightly.

Beneath the surface, these men work feverishly to configure some of the most intricate and deftly played music coming out of the Valley of the Sun. Their first CD, Lesson Number One, debuted in February 2011 on AZPX Records to glowing reviews:
* "This is…post-punk less interested in loping dub bass influences than creative restructuring of the "loud and angry" template. It melds urgency with intelligence, catchiness with dissonance, and sophistication with blunt force." (Razorcake);
"(Considering the band's history), it's no surprise that the members of The Father Figures can write songs. But the album is no nostalgia trip. This is vital, urgent post-punk, with melody, heart, and, most important, soul." (Phoenix New Times- #6 local album of 2011);
"In past outfits, these guys made names for themselves by blasting away in skate punk and hardcore bands, but as Father Figures, they've chosen chisels over dynamite to get to the core of post-punk, tapping angular second-wave progenitors like The Wipers and Mission of Burma as well as '90s acts such as Fugazi, Shellac, and Tar. Favoring precision over raw power in their playing, The Father Figures employ a brainier, but no less muscular, approach to the music whose local scene they helped birth and raise." (Phoenix New Times).

Michael was first to bust onto the early Phoenix punk scene as a member of Jr. Chemists in 1978 and went on to found Jody Foster's Army (affectionately known and still rocking as JFA) and Housequake. Bobby began drumming for Kluged in the early 80's and also pounded the skins for the Voice and Jeff Dahl. Tom started playing live in the late 80's as the vocalist for Religious Skid and went on to form Hillbilly Devilspeak, and played in the North Side Kings.

With all three members contributing significantly to the songwriting process, the Father Figures have no intentions of going "one and done." They continue to write better and better songs and that's good news for the lucky that are paying notice. So listen up, because your Father Figures deserve your attention.
Venue Information:
The Rebel Lounge
2303 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85016
http://www.therebellounge.com/