A horrible hack

Proto Idiot

Find Out for Themselves

Year Released: 2019
Format: LP
Label: Third Uncle
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Aug 30, 2019
This album is so much fun it should come with candyfloss. Imagine if late-1970s Devo appeared in contemporary Britain and dropped out of art school. That gives a sense of the prevailing spirit of this album. In reality, Proto Idiot aren’t time-travellers in yellow radiation suits. They are a trio from Manchester, spawned a decade ago as the solo side-project of Andrew Anderson from the Hipshakes. Anderson’s early albums were garage rock of the lo-fi bedroom variety, with fuzzy guitar and a naïve passion for making a racket. Now the project has been a trio for a few years, it’s taken a different direction. There’s slightly less garage rock, more Toy Dolls zaniness, and more angular post-punk guitar work. The same wide-eyed, oddball enthusiasm remains. The lyrics are wilfully simplistic, but Anderson’s singing, shouting, and yelping lends them a maniacal power. The musicianship is clean and tightly controlled, with the stop–start dynamic of math rock. Finally, the recording quality is better than any of their previous albums, and none of the eccentric charm was lost in the process. At just under half an hour, this is a skilfully delivered, concentrated barrage of hyperactive excitement.

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