Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Buy On
  1. Apr 17, 2014
    100
    This is the best punk rock record you’ll hear this year--never mind that it’s not wholly or even really a punk rock record.
  2. Apr 14, 2014
    90
    Under Color of Official Right is built with a steely fortitude, treating its subjects with respect and bluntness even if there’s nary a hopeful or comforting prospect to look forward to.
  3. Apr 9, 2014
    90
    Protomartyr has raised the bar high enough for any bands to follow, so high that most won’t even know it’s there.
  4. Apr 8, 2014
    90
    The 14 songs of Under Color of Official Right see an already incredible band moving even further forward in their development, approaching the same instant classic standards of their best contemporaries and turning in their most intricate work so far.
  5. Apr 8, 2014
    87
    The disjointed nature of Under Color’s thrust somehow catapults its enjoyability.
  6. Apr 8, 2014
    81
    The overall strength of Under Color of Official Right doesn't come from its big words, Detroit cred, or works-cited page; it's from lyrics that, while fraught with symbolism, feel emotionally resonant and, sometimes, viscerally unpleasant.
  7. 80
    While they undoubtedly keep their snarl and sneer (just look at that album cover), this is the cleanest and most melodic they have ever sounded. While those looking for cohesion may find this frustrating, it certainly makes Under Color of Official Right a dynamic and enthralling crossroad.
  8. May 14, 2014
    80
    Under Color Of Official Right packs a dynamic punch from starting to finish, never outstaying its welcome at any point.
  9. 80
    With a sense of humor and punk tilt, Under Color of Official Right decidedly makes Protomartyr one of the better acts of its kind going on.
  10. Q Magazine
    Apr 23, 2014
    80
    More varied stylistically, it offers a powerful reflection of the band's consistently bleak worldview. [May 2014, p.116]
  11. Apr 21, 2014
    80
    Mr. Casey mopes mightily as the frontman of the Detroit postpunk band Protomartyr, which on its darkly romantic and droll second album Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) has honed its sound.
  12. 80
    eedly bass, tumultuous drums and big, dirty guitars careen beneath Casey's deadpan delivery, building riotously enjoyable labyrinthine passages that lead to nowhere, though Protomartyr make the journey feel essential.
  13. Apr 15, 2014
    80
    Under Color Of Official Right rumbles along with tense basslines and drums that feel like they're trying to stay out of Casey's way, as guitarist Greg Ahee slashes a path forward.
  14. May 23, 2014
    78
    Encrypted menace, lonely tremolo, and herky-jerk rhythms abound on the Detroit quartet's second album.
  15. Jun 6, 2014
    70
    No matter how dark and overcast the basic mood of the album is, Under Color of Official Right never feels claustrophobic or overbearing, the production opening up just enough to make things expansive, almost majestic in their own way.
  16. Apr 17, 2014
    70
    All over their superbly funny second album, Protomartyr chase the post-punk guitar buzz of classic American bands like the Dream Syndicate, while also evoking raincoat-clad Brits like the Wedding Present.
  17. 67
    Though adept, it’s not entirely an original racket.
  18. 60
    There are tunes aplenty, making this second Protomartyr album a surprisingly pleasurable dose of swaggering anomie.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. Oct 17, 2014
    10
    I believe this will be the best post-punk album of the year and also one of the best. A vocalist that reminded me Nick Cave with his talents,I believe this will be the best post-punk album of the year and also one of the best. A vocalist that reminded me Nick Cave with his talents, good and fast beats with riffs that summon the good times of Interpol. It's all about what that alternative rock is today. A high surprise for this band. Full Review »
  2. Aug 9, 2014
    9
    Was shocked to see nobody has ever put in a good word for this one. Easily one of my top 5 for the year. Mixes hints of Interpol, theWas shocked to see nobody has ever put in a good word for this one. Easily one of my top 5 for the year. Mixes hints of Interpol, the Strokes, dance punk, with fun simple lyrics and great hooks. It grows on you even more with repeated listenings... Judge Mathis wouldn't ever stand for it! Full Review »