Tag Archives: Punk rock

UK DIY group Martha is worthy of your attention

The indie-pop band Martha gelled in 2011 in a place called Pity Me — seriously.

Martha- Courting Strong

Looks like this kid, apparently stuck in suburbia, wants to flip you off, no?

Pity Me is a suburban village of Durham, in the North East of England. The Oxford Dictionary of British Names states it’s: “a whimsical name bestowed in the 19th century on a place considered desolate, exposed or difficult to cultivate.” Without touching on its location in England, its so-called misery or its ability to grow tomatoes, the band is giving the tiny town a fresh identity.

Martha’s new album, “Courting Strong,” is loaded with biting punk-rock flavor. In a press release, Martha also credits Scandinavian anarcho noir with helping craft their sound. But while they’ve also been labeled as pop-punk, “Courting Strong” tends to camp out near the indie-DIY style of music.

There’s no one named Martha– just Naomi Griffin on bass and vocals, her brother, Nathan Griffin, on drums and vocals, J. Cairns on guitar and vocals, and Daniel Ellis on guitars and vocals. According to the press release, the moniker appears to be attributed to the name of the last Passenger pigeon.


Martha is a UK foursome; not at all to be pitied.

It’s got quick hits of punk tales and visceral titles like “Gin and Listerine,” “Bubble in my Bloodstream” and “Dust, Juice, Bones & Hair,” which doesn’t sound as grave as you might think. Heavy bass hooks tangle with bright guitar; the drummer lends a solid presence throughout. All four members offer vocals that eagerly intertwine.

The band offers the right mix of youthful exuberance while adding that necessary touch of boredom, of people frantic to just get out and start life. According to Nathan, “the overarching theme of the album is growing up weird.” Isn’t that how most teens feel anyway?

The title “Courting Strong” is from the song “Gin and Listerine” and can sometimes describe the stage where couples start to get really serious.

Their first single is “1997, Passing in the Hallway,” and relinquishes the days of young love swirling among boring subjects at study hall.

“I’ve been so anemic since you broke the double helix in my heart,” sings Naomi, later adding, “I promise that I’m worthy of your attention, after school, there’s a pub across the street…” Its infectious jumpy chorus is a snug fit for small venues packed with sweaty teens.

According to BrooklynVegan.com, the band will play at Cake Shop May 29 as part of  NYC Popfest. Visit their website to get a cool download of music from the 2013 Popfest.

When so many bands these days meet up, record, then lose the spark, Martha has a chemistry and cohesiveness that brings the glowing promise of longevity.

“Courting Strong”  is due out May 26 on Fortuna Pop! records. Listen to “1997, Passing in the Hallway.”

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Filed under anarcho noir, DIY, Indie, News, Punk, Punk-rock, Review

Welcome to the funhouse: Parquet Courts raise freak flag with new EP

By Emily Reily

The playful and raucous set served up on Parquet Courts‘ latest five-song EP, “Tally All the Things That You Broke,” sounds like their sitting at the controls on a Saturday afternoon, the adults are gone, and they’ve got the house to themselves.

Tally All the Things That You Broke

As proven from their 2012 full-length “Light Up Gold,” the indie-guitarpunk band has a clever knack for addictive guitar and  bass hooks that dig into your brain and settle down for the night.

Their music is sometimes irreverent and always  frantic fun. These guys like to poke fun at themselves and their music, but they still know how to put out precision punk-rock.

Parquet Courts

Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Savage practically spits out the lyrics and serves up a spoken word diatribe in a nagging  monotone. Savage always seems appropriately spazzed out.

The pan flute on “You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now” lightens up the song. It sounds the closest to their August 2012 full-length release “Light Up Gold.” Listen to “You’ve Got Me Wonderin Now” here.

The song “The More It Works” is a rambling sweat-fest as it experiments with guitar noise and feedback built around a repeating guitar riff and rapid drumming.

“Fall On Yr Face” (the shortest at 1 min. 26 seconds) employs a Southern-drawl guitar riff — a signature sound for Parquet Courts. Vocals are shifted around and manipulated like it’s an android from the movie “Westworld.”

He’s Seeing Paths” is the goofiest, longest (at 7 mins., 39 seconds) and most enjoyable tune on the EP. It’s offbeat and loaded with Beck flavors. Something that sounds like a cowbell runs rampant as the vocals are manipulated up and down, fast and slow, and some strange Middle-Eastern chirp follows behind. Guitar distortion and hand claps are thrown in– it’s like a giant steaming pot of funk stew.

It’s not THAT experimental when you really think about it. But they are stretching their limits as far as weird sounds go, and that’s never a bad thing.

Dig It or Ditch It: Dig it

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Filed under Indie, Noise Punk, Post-punk, Protopunk, Punk, Punk-rock, Review