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Martha - Courting Strong

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 12 / 6 / 2014

Martha - Courting Strong
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Uplifting but flawed and insubstantial debut album from young Durham-based band, Martha

Martha hail from Pity Me in County Durham. Apparently they’re vegans, but, however, the fact that they don’t seem to mention animal rights, or anything to do with it left me a little puzzled as to why this is mentioned in their press release As far I could tell this has nothing to do with the music they’re making or anything they sing about. ‘Courting Strong’ is completely and wonderfully self-absorbed in the way only a young band can be, but this is more of a soundtrack to the last summer at school than a politically-driven protest record – which one would almost expect when being introduced to a ‘Vegan band’ . There is a youthful energy throughout which is joyous and uplifting, but, however, there is a depth missing from the riffs, which while well executed, have been used about 800 millions times before – ‘Present Tense’ sounds like it could be the first song the band ever wrote. Despite the lack of originality there is plenty wit on here, especially on ‘Move to Durham, and Never Leave’, and while the often completely self-contained song content leaves you feeling that the substance may be lacking, their carefree innocence is thoroughly enjoyable. ‘Gin and Listerine’ and ‘So Sad (So Sad)’ exude that youthful energy which makes bands a joy to listen to and they capture that optimistic feeling that’s lost so quickly. The poor bastards have it all to look forward to! Think what pre ‘1977’-era Ash might have sounded like or the Arctic Monkeys when they first broke out and you’re on the right lines. There are some really good moments on ‘Courting Strong’, ‘Dust, Juice, Bone and Hair’ and ‘Bubble in my Bloodstream’ being personal favourites, but, however , I didn’t feel as an album it left any great impact and did somewhat lack in originality or anything that would make them stand out on their own.

Track Listing:-
1 Cosmic Misery
2 1997, Passing in the Hallway
3 Present, Tense
4 Dust, Juice, Bones & Hair
5 Bubble in My Bloodstream
6 Move to Durham and Never Leave
7 Gin and Listerine
8 Sleeping Beauty
9 1967, I Miss You I'm Lonely
10 So Sad (So Sad)

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