The Brothers Martin - The Brothers Martin

Published Wednesday 21st March 2007
The Brothers Martin - The Brothers Martin
The Brothers Martin - The Brothers Martin

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 22094-12330
LABEL: Tooth & Nail TND63912
RELEASE DATE: 2007-02-09
RRP: £12.99

Reviewed by John Hebden

Ronnie and Jason Martin have recorded 20 albums between them with their own individual identities - Joy Electric (Ronnie's synth retro pop persona) and Starflyer 59 (Jason's indie guitar pop group). This is their first full length album together since they split their original electronic/dance outfit, Dance House Children, in the early 1990s. It comes across like a tribute to the sounds of the 1980s, with OMD keyboard sounds (all over the place), New Order beats ("The Harsh Effects Of Time"), the shuffle of China Crisis ("Fears To Remember") and latter day Depeche Mode guitars for the heavier songs ("Communication" and "The Missionary"). At times it feels like Ronnie's keyboards are fighting for supremacy over Jason's guitars. Strangely, however, there are similarities in the brothers' writing. They both use words economically, which makes for interesting reading. Time and regret are both significant themes on this album, although sometimes the writing slips over into the obscure. With regard to music, both Ronnie and Jason write strong, quirky hook lines, which lift the songs out of some of the lyrical darkness. However, both rely a lot on repetition to fill out the total of just 35 minutes for the whole album.

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Reader Comments

Posted by alyssa in ohio @ 22:19 on Feb 3 2007

The musical fusion of indie pop and electronica provides a refreshing and edgy sound in this self-titled debut album, The Brothers Martin. Known for their separate musical accomplishments, Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric and Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 unite as bands and brothers to produce a distinct mesh of polar sound.
Although not their first collaboration, The Brothers Martin is markedly different from their 1990 album Dance House Children, which featured a rave sound and disjointed vocals. The brothers have 20 releases between them, but their recent reunion has created an innovative style not yet seen before.
Both the driving guitar riffs by Jason and synthesized electronic sound by Ronnie introduce “Communication.” This layering combined with their unison vocals tinges the song with a mod, British flair. All the songs have an 80s retro dance feel especially seen in, “Fears to Remember.” The melodic chill of “The Plot that Weaves” leaves lingering sensations with its steady beat and static sound, while the “The Deaf, They Will Hear” impresses the mind with repetitive words of the chorus, “Blood to the ears from which the death will hear.” The lyrics main communication is the man’s dissatisfaction with time and lack of control over life. Though pain and frustration permeate lyrics, hope and trust in one who knows better is the ultimate presiding theme of The Brothers Martin.
Not only a unique style but enigmatic intertwining themes of these transient songs, leave anticipation for another diverse creation merged by bands and brothers.

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