It’s always a joyful day when you read the words “pre-orders are up now” for any single or album you’ve been looking forward to, but even more so when Martha are involved. I’m a huge fan of the County Durham pop punk band, possibly partly due to the slight dialect connection (I grew up in Northumberland for anyone that doesn’t know me) so it’s nice to talk to people who can actually understand you (unless they mention cookbooks. And you won’t get that joke unless you come from the North East of England). I’ve been incredibly lucky to see them play 3 times, and each time they’ve been amazing. Last years Courting Strong lp was one of my favourites of the year, and, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, most if not all of the tracks from that album have woken me up at various times since it came out in May 2014.
Since the release of the album, they’ve been pretty much touring non-stop, and have released a few singles along the way, and this is the next one, a split 7″ vinyl ep with Radiator Hospital, released by Specialist Subject Records to coincide with the upcoming UK tour featuring both bands.
Radiator Hospital are new to me, a 4 piece from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they provide 3 tracks to the ep. Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chilli Peppers fame comes from Grand Rapids, but thankfully so does Jeffrey Daniels from Shalamar, so it’s all good. The 3 tracks, Night Out, Will You Find Me and Dark Sound, are great examples of power pop punk, proving you can easily get your point across in less than 2 minutes, meaning you’ve got more time to sing about something else. As I’ve mentioned, I don;t know a lot about them, but on this evidence I need to hear more.
Martha provide 2 tracks – Chekhov’s Hangnail and Six Men Getting Sick Six Times (Mendable). Both tracks are typically Martha. There’s a message there for you – whether you decide to listen to it is up to you – and both are brilliantly crafted pop songs. Of the 2, I’d say SMGSST(M), as it’s now known in my house, is my favourite, and not just for the “Who needs Tenerife when you’ve got Whitley Bay” line. The band will possibly hate me for saying it, but it does remind me of Onsind, but probably for no other reason than it’s got acoustic guitars. And that I’m lazy and unimaginative.
If you want to hear Chekhov’s Hangnail (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write) you can watch the video below (which I think includes that superb bridge between Sweden and Denmark that I went across years ago. Watch out for it bridge fans.) Personally, I think you should wait and buy the ep first because it’s wonderful, and, well, just because you should buy it. The tour starts at the end of October and goes from Exeter to Glasgow and everywhere in-between. I urge you to go if you can, you’ll have a brilliant time and make some brilliant friends. The dates are all in this link.