Saturday, 16 July 2016

Martha - Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart

DIY indie-punks Martha's second full-length album, Blisters in the Pit of my Heart, is finally here, and it doesn't disappoint. After such a strong debut with Courting Strong, it must be a relief for the band to have successfully overcome the second-album-hurdle.

The album opens with the energetic Christine, setting the tone with it's urgent cry of "I've been messed up in the head since I finished watching Threads",  followed by Chekhov's Hangnail, a song that manages to make the line "when it rains, well it really fucking pours" sound beautifully sincere.

It's chaotic without ever missing a beat, the spiky riffs reminding me of bands like Helen Love, Bis and Kenickie. Their trademark harmonies, with all four members singing lead on different tracks, are still one of the bands most defining features, and one of the things that made me first fall in love with them.

Storytelling is also something Martha have proven themselves to be good at, and that side of them gets a chance to shine too, especially on Goldman's Detective Agency, which sees the band re imagining 19th century anarchist Emma Goldman as a private investigator, dedicated to stopping corruption.

Ice Cream and Sunscreen is definitely a standout track; clocking in at just over two minutes, it darts across the spectrum of human emotion without ever stopping for breath, as well as providing the catchy refrain that gives the album its title.

Like everything Martha does, it leaves you desperately wanting more. I love bands who aren't ashamed to sing in their own accents, and Martha's Durham-voices combine perfectly with the sincerity of their personal-meets-political lyrics to produce a sound that is distinctly their own.

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