Smoking Martha – “In Deep” (Bad Reputation Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Rocking the fuck out!!! This is femme rock from the land Down Under, where the aptly named Smoking Martha have been giving the Gold Coast a good going over – and now they’re here. Fronted by Tasha D, who’s been compared to Gwen Stefani but with power pipes to match Janis Joplin, this debut smoulders thanks to the heavy rock punk dished out by guitarist Mick Broome and ably backed by his sun tanned mates Az Stonely (guitar), Matty Mulheran (bass) and Jordy Poynter (drums). As balls tough as the hard heritage of their nation, yet also overflowing with tons of soul and heart felt passion, Smoking Martha deliver the fire across the 10 magic songs here, topped off with 5 extra bonus demo tracks. It’s a bountiful offering, made even more appealing by the deep hooks and soulful grooves that reach right into your heart with honesty before Tasha D unleashes her versatility be it through power, sultriness or tenderness. Absolutely lethal, especially when you consider the range of songs on show here, each with its own identity, while keeping to the overall recognisable sound of the band. From ‘Say You’re Mine’ which oozed emotion from the start before its catchy explosive punk pop outburst grabbed in unison with Tasha D’s stroking vocals that all of a sudden forcefully unloaded the power along to a very slick guitar solo….man, you know you’re in for a trip! Instantly rocking in with massive waves of grooves backed by a gutsy rhythm came ‘Ebb Of The Tide’, offset by its delicate shimmering guitar melodies and ambient passage before the tide of power once again crashed you into total bliss – awesome. Rocking away oh so swankily was ‘What’s Her Name’ with its chugging riffola providing the perfect backdrop for Tasha’s she-ra wailing that could make her the perfect complement to Glenn Danzig judging by this gutsy pure blood dripping rock song – most impressive! With a stack of shows supporting Wolfmother, Thunder, Seether, Hardcore Superstar, Fuel, Everclear, P.O.D., and Cherie Currie (The Runaways), get ready for lots of energy, hair flicking and most of all, loud rock n roll from Smoking Martha….