Album of the Week - Martha - Love Keeps Kicking— Si Sharp -
Some songs make you stare into space ruefully. Some make you close your eyes, with raised arms and a smile remembering a past night. Some make you swagger down the street like you’re being followed by a soundtrack, your attitude strutting to the break. Love Keep Kicking is full of songs which make you run as fast as you can and then spin around until you fall over giggling. Like you did when you were a kid, when you saw life in technicolor, heard it in stereo and every poke and stroke made you wince in pain or sigh from joy.
Love Keeps Kicking is the third album from the County Durham DIY punk-pop four piece. The village they hail from is called Pity Me. The Oxford Book of Place Names suggests its …OK, wikipedia suggests The Oxford Book of Place Names suggests it’s “a whimsical name bestowed in the 19th century on a place considered desolate, exposed or difficult to cultivate”. Which is just perfect; of course it birthed this most contrastingly youthful, vibrant and musically upbeat of bands. This is a band whose guitars celebrate even when the words mourn. It’s a sound they were stumbling into on their decent last album Blisters in the Pit of my Heart but wow, they’ve nailed it here.
Lyrically, there’s so much to love - accessible, poetic and true. Heartbreak may get the optimistic title of ‘Heart is Healing’ but the lyrics are anything but trite (“ I think I’ll work from home today, I feel like quitting anyway. So, give me nothing ventured, nothing gained. This year blew my world apart. Admin with a broken heart, last orders at a Kōenji Station bar”). Finding your partner’s behaviour exhausting is explored on the Love Keeps Kicking (“Love Keeps Kicking the shit out of me”). The subject of gold-diggers is given a low budget treatment with the genders switched on Lucy Shone a Light on You, the lyrics of which scan like the perfect short story transporting you though characters and situations at a 100 miles per hour. We love Kanye West’s contribution on the subject, but his story was a neatly rhymed grunt in comparison.
Every song seems to present a fresh perspective on well trodden ground, or just talk about something new - either way - this is like hearing pop music for the first time again. It’s an album that makes you wish you were 16 again so you could give your heart to it like you did before your heart belonged to others.