I’ve come back to this track many times since hearing it on a “Spotify” missed list of 2020.
The composition really subverted my expectations. Its lyrics deal with an oppressive force taking control and at first the instrumentation seems to follow this style with building melodic darkness and aggression, and on first listen it was where I thought the track would continue to go. However, as “Processed By The Boys” gets to the chorus the chords become far more uplifting, almost subverting the lyrical context.
The track furthers this development as it comes to its conclusion. “Next time it will be different, So cool so nice,” Joe Casy delivers with a mix of apathy and acceptance, which is opposed by the crescendo of instrumentation escalating until is soars.
After this point things come crashing down and the track finishes with a whimper. The protagonist doesn’t go out with a blaze of glory and instead accepts defeat.
When I first heard the track I thought it would go in one direction but it turns down several other forks in the road and finishes somewhere else entirely. This both surprised and excited me as a listener. Those feelings haven’t died away as I have become more accustomed to the track, which is rare indeed.
“Processed By The Boys” by Protomartyr is well worth a listen: