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Smoking Martha: Universe

Hailing from Australia, Smoking Martha release their sophomore album, Universe, with real hopes of making some serious strides after impressing many with their In Deep debut. With twelve songs squeezed into a running order of just under 40 minutes, the messages are short and sharp here and clearly built round the assured vocals of Tasha D.

She and her band mates utterly burst into life on album opener “Good Girls” - a drumbeat that almost takes us into “We’ll Bring The House Down” Slade territory giving way to a dirty riff that’s punctuated by some glorious ‘la-la-la-la-laaaaaaaaa’ vocals that quickly become impossible to resist. It’s a belting start and one that leaves high hopes, but personally, from there - while the songwriting is tight and the performances universally excellent - the band’s penchant to slide into a sound that would quite easily suit the likes of No Doubt, leaves me less and less interested as we move on.

Tasha in particular remains in fine form, her voice as versatile as it is smoky and refined, but with the guitars becoming a little watered down for my taste, the likes of “Only Love” and “Liquid Sunshine” are limp in comparison to the track that opened this album. In truth, it’s a theme throughout, “Neon Lights” a stripped back acoustic affair that could storm this band up the charts, but hardly gets my heart racing, while “It’s A Lie” doesn’t quite know whether to be a slithering slice of sleazy blues, or a more modern rocker. In the end it isn’t quite either and as such, lets its momentum slip away.

Cards on the table here - if you look around the internet, most people are lauding this album and predicting this band for big things, and I can therefore only conclude that they are excellent at what they do, but it simply doesn’t float my particular boat. Give Smoking Martha a go, it seems there’s a good chance you might love them… even if I don’t.

Track Listing
1. Good Girls

2. Only Love

3. I Tried

4. Wonderful Happiness

5. Liquid Sunshine

6. Intermission

7. Neon Lights

8. Ghost

9. It’s A Lie

10. Wild And Free

11. In The Shadows

12. Universe

Added: January 3rd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Smoking Martha online
Hits: 651
Language: english

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