Martha “Please Don’t Take Me Back”
Indie pop-punk is a style that we find very hard for British bands to pull off. We normally put that down to a lack of feel-good sunshine weather here in the UK. Despite that, Martha are a Durham based band who have been flying the UK pop-punk flag for a number of years now.
As regular readers will know, we love an album that starts with a kick and that’s certainly what “Beat Perpetual” delivers. It’s a near perfect slice of punky power pop. Indeed, that’s a successful sound that Martha provide on tracks like “Every Day The Hope Gets Harder” and “Burner”. It shouldn’t be underestimated how hard it is for bands to get the balance right between melody and energy but Martha have smashed it with this album.
The beat slows a bit for the start of the title track “Please Don’t Take Me Back” but that just allows the pop melody to shine even brighter. The same is true of “Irreversible Motion” and “You Can’t Have a Good Time All the Time” where the female vocals give them more of an early nineties alternative sound. The kind of sound you might associate with the likes of Liz Phair or Juliana Hatfield. It’s a style which has had a big revival recently, so maybe those are the tracks that could see the band get some well-deserved mainstream exposure. Along the same lines “Neon Lung” and “I Didn’t Come Here to Surrender” have the kind of hazed out indie punk feel you might associate with the Lemonheads.
There are so many highlights on this album but you’d certainly be hard pressed to find a power pop song released in the last few years that could trump “Baby Does Your Heart Sink”. A track that, despite the title, actually makes your heart sing with joy! It’s a similar story with “Total Cancellation Of The Future”, despite its bittersweet lyrics it is just a corker of a song.
This is a really great album; we loved the bands previous release but this takes things up a step (or two). It’s an album chock full of quality songs that offer melody but in an alternative/punky spirit to make sure it doesn’t get too saccharine. Definitely up there as a potential album of the year for us.