Martha are a group of DIY punk-rockers from northeastern England. They’re self-described anarchist, straightedge vegans, and their new album, Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, is fantastic.
Aside from a throwaway line about crooked police being protected by corrupt politicians, not much of Martha’s ethos really come through in the album, but it is a collection of ridiculously catchy pop punk made by a group of people earnest enough to openly support anarchy.
These are the sort of people who would make the closing track of their punk album a gentle allusion to Paul Westerberg’s body of work, and like their source of inspiration, Martha know how to marry ramshackle energy and an anthemic hook. And they do so, over and over and over again.
There is not one skippable song on the entire album, which essentially careens from one massive, fist-pumping hook to the next with chugging guitar to fill the gaps. The longest song, “Do Nothing” is a perfect example of this methodology.
It’s basically two songs–a brooding, shout-y ode to laziness with muted musical backing that allows the lyrics some breathing room. It culminates as it must; with excellently spastic guitar shredding.
It’d be a tremendous song if it ended after four minutes, but then it transitions into a stripped down power pop song that could fit in with the best Exploding Hearts tracks.
Every track is a catchy blast of energy that could serve as an alt-song of summer, but standout track and source of the album’s title”Ice Cream and Sunscreen” probably takes that title for me.
Clever detailed lyrics, duet vocals and a running time just a bit longer than two minutes makes it a damn near perfect pop song, and it’s surrounded by nothing but excellent guitar pop.
If sugary hooks and passionately nihilistic sentiments are your thing, this album is mandatory listening.