TRACK REVIEW: 'Processed by the Boys' - Protomartyr
RELEASE DATE: 11 MAR 2020
LABEL: DOMINO RECORDING CO.
There’s a splendid beauty in bands being topical without meaning to ("When the ending comes, is it gonna run//At us like a wild-eyed animal?//A foreign disease washed upon the beach"). In Protomartyr’s ‘Processed by the Boys’, there is a dystopic, snarky air in the lyrics that range from the macro (“A cosmic grief beyond all comprehension”) to the personal (“They got the job when they came back to town// Why not let them earn a living?”).
‘Processed by the Boys’ speaks to the often elusively cordial nature in the way human beings are treated like cogs. ‘Processed’ by the familiar, the faces that just treat you like data are often smiling. The music video reflects this with an off-beat talk show where the guests aren’t always cooperative and the sky seems to be falling all around them.
In the last leg of the song, there’s a tone of resignation. In the conclusion of the song, the band sings that “this time will be gentle enough”, hoping for that the whole ordeal (of living) won’t be as bad as before - while clinging on to any semblance of connection (They look so nice//Tattoos of their children)
Protomartyr’s lyrical strength is not unprecedented, but there’s something about the little bassoon/clarinet that plays throughout the song that makes this already poignant post-punk ditty into a crazily full-fledged track. Protomartyr's most comprehensively awesome track in a long time. Their album, ‘Ultimate Success Today’ comes out 29 May 2020.
5 / 5