PROTOMARTYR 'Ultimate Success Today' LP
There is a sting in the summer blossom of Ultimate Success Today, Protomartyr's fifth album and second for Domino. Arriving after Relatives In Descent, Protomartyr's headlong dive into the morass of American life in 2017, Ultimate Success Today is a fitting follow-up for the Detroit band.
The opener, "Day Without End", sets the tone for the whole album: "This is the dawning of the day without end / when fear steps into light". The themes of corruption and creeping finality, even amid the heat and light, runs like a cool shock throughout.
Joe Casey on Ultimate Success Today:
"The re-release of our first album had me thinking about the passage of time and its ultimate conclusion. My typical rosy outlook.
Listening to No Passion All Technique again, I could hear myself hoping for an introduction and a long future, but also being cognizant that it could be "one and done" for us. So, when it came time to write Ultimate Success Today, I was reminded of that first urgency and how it was an inverse of my current grapple with how terribly ill I've been feeling lately. Was that sick feeling coloring how I felt about the state of the world or was it the other way around?
This panic was freeing in a way. It allowed me to see our fifth album as a possible valediction of some confusingly loud five-act play. In the same light I see it as an interesting mile marker of our first decade of being a band - a crest of the hill along a long highway. Although just to cover my bases, I made sure to get my last words in while I still had the breath to say them."
Ultimate Success Today was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios, a late 19th century church, in upstate New York and co-produced by the band and David Tolomei (Dirty Projectors, Beach House) with mixing by Tolomei. Featured guest musicians on the album include Nandi Rose (vocals) a.k.a. Half Waif, jazz legend Jameel Moondoc (alto sax), Izaak Mills (bass clarinet, sax, flute), and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello).