Album review by KevW
Fidelity: the degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced. In musical terms it would be used to describe the level with which the sound of a recording is produced. Music that is note perfect, crystal clear, precision engineered and refined, well, that would be high fidelity. It can be truly amazing, but more often than not it's sterile and soulless. On his second album as Proto Idiot, Hipshakes man Andrew Anderson doesn't seem bothered about sound fidelity of any kind. 'Idiot Proto' goes beyond styled low fidelity, the preferred production technique of hispsters everywhere, and does away with the whole concept almost entirely.
We're not taking the manufactured no-fi scree of Times New Viking and their ilk, the songs on this album are presented as they are. Not made to appear warts-and-all, and not given any make up either. These dozen tracks are au naturale, and without wishing to sound like some kind of musical perv, this naked approach suits them well and it would be difficult to imagine them any other way. There's an personal, almost intimate quality on tracks like 'Breaking Up' or the garage stomp of 'Not Responsible'. 'Explain Yourself' is about as simple as rock 'n' roll songs get, in fact there's virtually nothing adventurous to be found here at all.
Had, say, 'Nothing Inside Me' been included on an album by a lo-fi/slacker group from twenty or thirty years ago it would probably be considered an important forerunner to the low budget D.I.Y bands of today, but as it is, it remains simply a decent, dirty and ragged alternative guitar tune. Much like the rest of 'Idiot Proto', its wearing the emperors new clothes but is neither new in design or likely to become a ruler of anything very much. But don't let that detract from what's great about this album, and that is raw, impassioned and simple indie/garage/fuzz tunes of the variety that will hopefully always have a place in the world, whatever 'fi' bracket you wish to stuff them into.
Proto Idiot's website
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