August 17, 2016

LP: Martha - Blisters in the Pit of My Heart

Martha swoons over the past and embraces the future on their sophomore album.

UK pop-punkers Martha turn diary entries into vulnerable anthems with shuddering power on their sophomore release Blisters in the Pit of My Heart. Incorporating politics and punk with unique melodies, they throw you into a whirlwind that lingers beyond their gut-punching impact. Martha crafts bombastic outpourings while fiercely tearing through topics of sadness, adversity, and unrequited relationships. Opening track “Christine” begins softly and builds with reverb-drenched guitars as the band paints a short-lived romance of box wine and toothy teenage kisses. The song swells to a climax that will knock you off your feet as power chords ring out over the twinkle of teenage infatuation. Fuzzy guitars follow into stormy refrains as vocal harmonies blossom with delicacy, “Passion forged under a four-pound box of wine / That’s when you knew / When you felt certain it was love / I’ll remember you in all your glory.” The foursome pushes toward something more direct and energetic in their lyrics. They're swooning over the past, but also embracing the future that lies ahead.  

“Precarious (Supermarket Song)” feels like a stomach full of butterflies as the song captures the experience of asking someone out for the first time. The vocal harmony exchanges give the song an extra sweet swing as rampant the percussion runs rampant. A blissful surge of distortion kicks in as the story line details a boy building the confidence to ask his grocery store crush out. “I’m gonna go to the supermarket / Straightening my tie / Plucking up the might to ask you out on Saturday night.” In “Awkward One’s,” Martha takes the same feeling and turns social awkwardness into an anthem to rally behind. A surge of power-punk kicks off the song with unstoppable force as bouncy guitar licks conjure a call for the misfits and losers of the world. Throughout the album, the band ping-pongs between rushes of joy and fine-tuned aggression as each song carries the brevity of an emotionally-packed vignette. “11:45, Legless in Brandon” showcases Martha’s signature catchy hooks and ability to channel complex feelings into urgent blasts of sound. At it’s heart, the song captures the sensation of falling for someone while facing the fear of getting attached too soon. Vocalist Naomi Griffin exposes her fears, needs, and insecurities in a relationship while rising into an expressive yowl, “She knows I fall in love so fast / When it’s clear that it won’t last / But what can I do?" Each song on Blisters in the Pit of My Heart is emotionally direct while powered by hook-laden riffs that are impossibly addictive and will be the soundtrack to dance parties in every house it enters.


Listen to Martha on bandcamp.


Abbie Jones, who will sing along to every Liz Phair song at karaoke by heart and is always down to get milkshakes past midnight. When she isn't writing about music, she is playing drums in her band or hosting shows in her backyard.