The Agent Intellect

Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2015 Ratings: #76 / 899
User Score
Based on 310 ratings
2015 Ratings: #110
Liked by 9 people
October 9, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Hardly Art / Label
Post-Punk / Genres
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Consequence of Sound

Intellect highlights the band’s strengths, with Casey’s melodies punching through some of the sturdiest rock and roll arrangements since The National emerged with Alligator and Boxer.

A.V. Club

In the best sense, The Agent Intellect takes what made its predecessors good and builds on it.


Throughout the album, the band rises to meet the weighty subject matter. On Right, songs arrived in brute slashes, but on Intellect they’re textured and spacious.

The Guardian

This isn’t spiky postpunk like their last album – it’s more unhinged: they’ve swapped hooks for a dirgy epicness, distortion bulldozes through, sometimes flaring angrily, punctured by driving, truly affecting drums. 

The Skinny

Whether opaque, sprightly or just plain gung-ho garage rock, Protomartyr revel in a gnarled inspiration that often feels sincerely profound.


It’s an album so fully realized and of its own singular identity that despite its many obvious post-punk-era touchstones, there’s no mistaking the band for revivalists.

Loud and Quiet
If thematically some tracks are smaller-scale, musically things have been blown up.
Rolling Stone

The band's music is still built on Rust Belt koans, guitarist Greg Ahee's fanged leads, and an unmistakable musk of existential dread perfuming every pitiless hook.


Protomartyr's music is smart without wearing its intellect on its sleeve, and physically strong enough to support the ideas lurking behind Casey's lyrics, and The Agent Intellect is an album that challenges both the mind and the body.

The Line of Best Fit

Even if the mood is fairly dour on The Agent Intellect, there’s a message of defiance and resistance.

If these guys don't have the loftiest ambitions ever, it needn't matter when 'The Agent Intellect' makes post-punk feel like purest rock'n'roll.
The Detroit 4-piece seem to have cornered the market in soundtracking everything getting worse. Which is why ‘The Agent Intellect’ works so well; it starts with a slow drip and builds to a raging flood.
NOW Magazine

The Agent Intellect is a multi-layered, emotive powerhouse of a record.

Essentially, it’s an album of spindly bass, needling guitar and economical drums. And yet, with Protomartyr’s inventive ensemble flare, it sounds like much more.
So excited for the new one, expecting it to be my fav so far for 2020.

Haven't listened to this in awhile but it seems like the right time to reimmerse myself. The Devil in His Youth is such a fantastic opener. Pontiac 87's swag is off the charts. Ellen is another highlight for sure.
"That’s not gonna save you, man. That’s not gonna save you, man." These guys keeps getting better with each release.
I like this album infinitely more than their most recent record. I think that album gave me a bad impression and so I was feeling hesitant about this one, but that was the wrong perspective. Call it a learning experience that some groups have a stronger back catalog and just because you don't dig their newest shit doesn't mean you won't dig their other shit.

Favorite track: Cowards Starve
ugh i regret not listening to this sooner, easily one of the best albums of 2015. the guitar riffs and vocals created a melody in each song that was a really memorable experience. there were definitely a few hiccups here and there, but nothing really took away too much.
fav tracks: the devil in his youth, uncle mother's
Quite the thrilling and packed album, definitely recommend it.
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Track List

  1. The Devil in His Youth
  2. Cowards Starve
  3. I Forgive You
  4. Boyce or Boice
  5. Pontiac 87
  6. Uncle Mother's
  7. Dope Cloud
  8. The Hermit
  9. Clandestine Time
  10. Why Does It Shake?
  11. Ellen
  12. Feast of Stephen
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Added on: July 14, 2015