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The Martial Arts

I Used To Be The Martial Arts EP (Last Night From Glasgow)

By • Aug 8th, 2019 • Category: Single review

The esteemed Last Night From Glasgow record label have done it again, another great release (at this point BM would expect nothing less!)

BM’s understanding is that Paul Kelly used to be The Martial Arts, and now is back in the fray with this new EP, and it is a belter!

Opening track ‘New Performance’ is just a great pop tune, with falsetto, throwing the kitchen sink in with the instruments and an amazing guitar solo, while the production is OTT and rather spacey.

This is followed by ‘I Used to Be’ – slower but sturdier, with an American West Coast vibe and some great self-mythologising, “I used to be someone” – rich choruses which recall Teenage Fanclub but with something else, a darker perspective perhaps…

‘How Will I Progress’ is again beautiful, some gorgeous harmonies and interesting keyboard lines as well. There is a call and response element which recalls ‘With A Little Help…’ by yon Beatles, wildly good!

Closer ‘You’ve Ruined Everything’ is a defiant blast – railing against the past, with some lovely violin backing and flanged guitar. There is some anger but the sound is again rich and complex, bursting into some further shapes and vocal variations which are just mind-blowing… it fades away at the end, but BM is left breathless by this immense achievement in musical genre-skipping.

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