Proto Idiot

For Dummies

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The ramshackle garage punk band Proto Idiot started off as a solo vehicle for Manchester musician Andrew Anderson, when his band told him his songs were too crummy to be included in their repertoire. Undaunted, he started recording them himself, and since 2008, he's cranked out a bunch of singles and albums for labels like Trouble in Mind, Slovenly, OddBox, and Red Lounge. In 2014, he joined up with a couple guys, Mike and Callum, on drums and bass to provide some stability. Together, they recorded the 2016 album For Dummies and it's a blast. Taking cues from loud-fast guys like Jay Reatard, bash-it-out-now-and-ask-no-questions-later guys like Billy Childish, and everyone whose unbridled energy and enthusiasm outstripped their musical abilities, the band romps through a selection of tunes designed to strip paint off walls and move the feet of everyone within earshot. There are garage stompers, amped-up punk ravers, shambling indie rock, bluesy barstool ramblings, and even a few moments -- like on the pleasantly meandering "Influence" -- where a clear melody almost comes into focus. All delivered in a frantic yelp from Anderson as his guitar clatters, howls, and practically breaks free from all constraints; the rhythm section not only keeps up, but pushes him to more and more rocking extremes. It all makes for the best kind of garage punk, where the niceties are ignored and the band just cuts loose. Previous Proto Idiot albums have had this same reckless spirit, but this is the first one to have the power and punch of a real band behind Anderson. It's their best record to date and some real fine garage punk noise.

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