Protomartyr Under Color of Official Right

You don’t really see tin sheds anymore, not in the flesh anyway.
They’re confined to a history that most of us youthful types can only
dream of whilst flicking through the pages of discarded Dorling
Kindersley annuals.

I can’t say with any real authority, but I’m fairly sure Protomartyr, a decidedly grey punk band, are in the same boat as the rest of us, tin shed-wise.

You could never tell though. ‘Under Colour of Official Right’, the group’s second record, sounds like it was recorded by tin shed masters, so much so that you can almost smell the rusty corners.


Everything echoes. Everything is cold. Everything is short. Everything is as austere as the forgotten city that Protomartyr are from Under Detroit, where people don’t muddle through so much as trudge on.

It’s the type of record The Vaccines would have made if they dug common metals rather Under than Real Estate EPs.

It’s clear more bands need to get into the tin shed scene. Cut your hair short.
Get some tin sheets. Under Build a shed.


Put down the DK annual and start something.

Throughout the ’80s, Mute effortlessly surfed between success (with bands
like Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure) and working with Under such prophetic,


cutting edge labels as Blast First Under (home to Sonic Youth, Big Black and Dinosaur Jr).

It was these joint ventures that allowed Miller to explore his broad
musical tastes and working with a fresh new label called Rhythm King would give him his first number one single.

“I realised there was a whole new world of music that I hadn’t really been
paying attention to through all my time with Depeche.

Rhythm King was run by two guys at that time James Horrocks and Martin Heath.

I liked the music but they were the experts – there is a real difference. I can tell when it’s good but somebody needs to tell me that one is slightly better than that one,

so we started the label, which ended up with Bomb the Bass, S’Express, which went to number 1, and Betty Boo.

I mean, it became a pop label; it became a pop label because dance became pop at the time.”

Then came Britpop and a challenging time for a left-field label like Mute.

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