Sunday, April 29, 2018

Live: Protomartyr, INVSN @ Strom (Munich, April 21st, 2018)

Last week we spent a few unseasonably hot days in Munich, where among visits to castles, museums, beer gardens and other tourist attractions, we also had the opportunity to check out live for the first time Protomartyr, one of our current favorite bands.

The band is scheduled to make its live debut in Athens in one of this summer’s festivals, but there is no doubt that the natural habitat of this Detroit quartet with the idiosyncratic, intense post-punk sound is a dark, intimate club like Strom in Munich, so it would be foolish to miss this opportunity to see them in action while we were there.

According to band leader Joe Casey, the first time Protomartyr was supposed to play in Munich a few years back, the show got cancelled due to lack of interest. Thankfully the band didn’t lose heart and although their music remains a cult concern in the capital of Bavaria, here they were once again playing a storming set at Strom club.

About half of the material of their 70-minute performance was taken from their excellent latest album "Relatives in Descent", with "My Children" kicking off the set and gradually building the tension with its accelerating beat. A tension that rarely let off throughout the set, with the menacing drum beat leading the assault while the bass built up the frantic pace and the guitar added the intricate riffs anchoring Casey’s runaway narratives.

"Don't Go To Anacita", "Windsor Hum", "A Private Understanding" and "Here Is The Thing" were few more examples of excellence from the new record, while "Come And See", "Dope Cloud" and the one-two punch of "Why Does It Shake?" and "Scum, Rise!" of the encore stood out from the older material.

Protomartyr, live @ Strom (April 21, 2018)
INVSN, live @ Strom (April 21, 2018)
As an added bonus for us, the band that opened Protomartyr’s Munich gig was INVSN, another fine band led by Dennis Lyxzén who we know best as the lead singer of Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy.

The upbeat post-punk sound of INVSN (pronounced "Invasion") is closer to that of The (International) Noise Conspiracy (with added '80s new wave influences), than to the seismic punk of Refused, but the rebellious attitude and explosive performance of their charismatic leader remains the same in whatever band he is playing, always giving a great show and encouraging crowd participation.

INVSN presented songs from their latest album "The Beautiful Stories" and new EP "Forever Rejected", with "Immer Zu" from the album and the title track of the EP being the two most memorable songs of their set, while for the encore they played the anthemic "Down in the Shadows" from their self-titled 2014 LP.

Check out below "A Private Understanding" and "Windsor Hum" from Protomartyr's set and INVSN in "Forever Rejected" and "Immer Zu":

Protomartyr - A Private Understanding, live @ Strom (Munich, April 21, 2018)

Protomartyr - Windsor Hum, live @ Strom (Munich, April 21, 2018)

INVSN - Forever Rejected, live @ Strom (Munich, April 21, 2018)

INVSN - Immer Zu, live @ Strom (Munich, April 21, 2018)

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