Love Keeps Kicking, the third album from U.K. based indie/punk band Martha, is an energetic yet positive breakup album with heart. Combining elements of punk pop, indie, and power pop, the album stands out among other of similar genre. Not having one primary singer plays as one the bands many strengths, as the four unique contributing vocals make each song a different chapter in the story. The guitar work is passionate and non stop, and the dual lead riffs contribute to their distinct sound. Unlike other albums discussing breakups, Martha doesn’t linger on it’s sadness and negativity, but rather hope and moving on.
The single “Into This,” is one of the standout tracks, led by female vocalist Naomi Griffin. The vocals in the verses sound vulnerable and innocent alongside the rumbling bassline. The lyrics depicts someone unsure of their significant others intentions as Griffin laments, “You only want to kiss me when you’ve had a drink” before the powerful and catchy chorus. The main repeated guitar riff is equally as catchy and ties the each part of the track together. This is the band at their best, songwriting wise.
“The Void” departs from the breakup narrative lyrically and instead is reminiscent of of an old horror movie. The foursome sing the moody verses and chorus together about seances and demons. In the bridge they repeat, “I saw the dormant perspective, I saw the mirror reflective, I saw the Devil, saw the demon, saw the void behind your eyes” like a mantra that builds power alongside the chugging guitar and pounding drums. The song has a more rock-driven vibe than the others but still has the charm Martha usually delivers. Even with the darker tone and subject, “The Void” is still one of the catchiest and has one of the most powerful endings on the entire album.
Some songs don’t shine as bright as others and get lost among the track list. There are moments on the album when “woah’s” and “oh’s” are too common and predictable. The band consistently presents poetic and down to earth lyrics so these sing a long moments feel a bit forced and superficial in comparison to their usual caliber.
The song “Wrestlemania VIII” is a pleasant punk surprise. Clocking in at only 1:48 seconds, it is one of the more aggressive songs on the album. It has raw and bittersweet lyrics that are shouted alongside headbang worthy guitar and drums. The line, “they say absence makes the heart grows fonder, when we first met it felt like we’d been friends for so much longer” is the driving point of this punk song. The narrative uses this wisdom as a form pride as the song unashamedly charges forward. It’s that same abrupt energy that makes it one of the of the most memorable songs among the rest.
Love Keeps Kicking maintains its high energy and positivity until the end. The heart and effort of each member shine brilliantly through making this album fun and easy listen. The unique vocals and relentless instrumentation keep the entire album exciting and leave the listener with a hopeful spring in their step.