MARTHA – ” Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart “

Posted: December 7, 2016 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Let’s hear it for part-time punks: the musicians who go to work by day so they can get to work at night, and who give the man 40 hours a week rather than let him dictate the terms of their art. It’s a sacrifice most of us won’t make to pursue our passions, especially when it’s so much easier to consume than create.

Martha is one such band trying to balance the desire to keep it DIY with the demands of increased popularity. The British pop-punk group — Nathan Stephens Griffin on drums, Naomi Griffin on bass, J. Cairns and Daniel Ellis on guitars — released one of the best guitar albums of 2014 in Courting Strong, and has spent the two years since touring the U.K. while holding down day jobs and school obligations. It’s been exhausting but necessary for a band determined to operate outside the traditional music industry.

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Martha are from a small, former mining village in this case, sentimental anarchists Martha, from a town in Durham that is literally called “Pity Me,” write from a working class experience that often gets sidelined by London-centric politics. Whether it’s falling in love with someone at the supermarket after seeing them “getting bollocked” by their supervisor, forging passion “under a four pound box of wine,” or something as simple as name-dropping Countdown or saying “mam” instead of “mum,” Martha’s punk-laced pop singalongs are both playful and devastating depending on how long ago your last breakup was.  At the heart of it, Martha are as lovesick as the rest of us. They just know how to express it in ways that make you want to drink some unfavorably cheap booze and have a dance.

 Martha’s new album, Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart, doesn’t disappoint in that respect. Protagonists range from twentysomethings stuck in “neoliberal precarious employment” (“Precarious [Supermarket Song]”), 20th-century anarchist Emma Goldman (“Goldman’s Detective Agency”), envious outcasts (“The Awkward Ones”) and Catholic-school queers (“St. Pauls [Westerberg Comprehensive]”). And, thankfully, Cairns and Ellis haven’t outgrown the cathartic three-chord punk burners that made Courting Strong so much fun (“Christine,” “Chekhov’s Hangnail”), either.

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