Release Date: Apr 5, 2019
Record label: Big Scary Monsters
This third find album finds the Durham pop-punks at their best, adding a ragged sense of urgency to their jumble of wordplay and hooky songs Considering the hateful state of the world right now, 'Love Keeps Kicking' feels like a fitting mantra. Sticking together, looking after each other and holding love up in the face of increasingly visible bigotry feels particularly vital at the moment. This is the fire that fuels Martha's third album, which opens with 'Heart is Healing': " This year blew my world apart / I've been with a broken heart," sings co-vocalist Daniel Ellis.
Heartbreak and self-doubt instead inform the band's sound, as the title of their new record suggests. In part a break-up album, Love Keeps Kicking is replete with the emotional tropes you'd associate with such an event; despair, solace, disbelief, and eventually, a renewed sense of hope. "My heart flutters then it sinks / Because you only want to kiss me when you've had a drink" co-vocalist and bassist Naomi Griffin sings on "Into This", an instance of self-doubt and suffering manipulation that most of us can relate to.
U.K. punks Martha followed the same lines as their U.S. contemporaries of the DIY scene, melding soaring melodicism with upbeat tempos and raw, guitar-heavy production. A split release with punk crooners Radiator Hospital and tours with anthemic rocker Jeff Rosenstock were great places for their hook-heavy songs of heartbreak and understanding to grow.
Love Keeps Kicking (single) by Martha Vegan anarchist punk isn't usually this much fun. The four members of Martha—that's drummer Nathan Stephens-Griffin, bassist Naomi Griffin, and two guitarists JC Cairns and Daniel Ellis— come from a long tradition of politically engaged punk rock. Originally from a coal mining town called Pity Me in the north of England, some of their grandparents were union organizers.
Grab yourself a bowl, throw in a cup of Belle and Sebastian's lyricism, a dash of The Smiths' kitchen sink realism, sprinkle some smouldering J Mascis riffs and you'll get something close to Martha. For the past five-plus years this quartet of perky punks has blessed us with infectious hooks and boundless energy. With song titles like '11.45, Legless in Brandon' and 'Gin and Listerine' it's clear the band isn't afraid to tackle the nitty-gritty of British life.