There's nothing clever, sophisticated or intricate about Proto Idiot, but at the same time, I don't think there's supposed to be. I mean, just look at their band name. And the fact they've called their album For Dummies. And the fact that all their songs sound like they took longer to play than write. But really - you can't take those pretty sluggish criticisms as actual criticisms, because For Dummies and the snotty garage rock swashbucklers behind it is an example of garage rock at its most senselessly raw and enjoyable. And hey, for a Musketeerian three man gang, here to slam out brain-dead garage rock, they look the part with it, too.
Proto Idiot are incredibly self aware with it, as well. There's not too much depth to their music, and that's the thrill of it really. The album sounds like it was knocked up in a night, with a four-track and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Echoes of Love and The 13th Floor Elevators comes through from the off with Idiot Blues; snarls of "love isn't real! Life isn't fair! ...all I want is to s-s-s-stop breathing!" as well as the gunslinging thrashy approach that head idiot Andrew Anderson takes on guitar. Razor's Edge throws up gnarly garage that hints at psychobilly in its confrontation, keeping a timid feel up through its 132 second duration, while album highlight Crisis After Crisis has this obnoxious drunken momentum to it with it's Alabama Song-like marching feel.
The vocals throughout take this kinda coarse, youthful yell, that's really reminiscent of pretty much every band on the Nuggets compilation, whilst all the way through the band keep up this kinda energetic, thrashy feel. Every song is pretty similar, but the thing is that every song is pretty good, and the whole record is just ever so satisfying to blast out. Proto Idiot are aware that they don't need to be clever to be good, and this record is testimony to that.
Words: Calum Cashin