Smoking Martha has unleashed their debut album In Deep, recorded at Loose Stone Studios with Producer Matthew Bartlem (Matt Corby, Dead Letter Circus). The album shows off the band’s diverse sound and ability to not only go from one end of the rock spectrum to another but to create a new spectrum entirely. The album starts off with the track “So Lonely” which is the perfect representation of Smoking Martha and a great showcase of front-woman Tasha D’s voice and the badass guitars from Mick Broome and Az Stonely. On “Say You’re Mine” the songstress croons and yells the infectious chorus line that is bound to get stuck in your head, while the pumping basslines courtesy of Matty Mulheran match the pugnacious time-keeping of drummer Jordy Poynter . These two opening songs are enough to convince you of why five years into their collective experience, the band has a cult following, and has already shared the stage with acts such as Everclear (USA), Prophets Of Addiction (USA), Uriah Heep (UK), Seether (SA) and Cherie Currie (The Runaways).
Throughout this 10 track album, Tasha D wastes no time demonstrating why she’s one of the industry’s most awe-inspiring vocalists, wailing her way across a series of bone-crushing riffs and soaring choruses. Smoking Martha are a band that’s been waiting to fully explode for years now, and their high-octane album finally puts the band in the perfect place to push themselves to the fore of alternative and hard rock.
It’s obvious that the band’s primary appeal lies in their not-so-secret weapon, Tasha D, whose swaggering attitude and four-octave vocal range ensure that you won’t confuse Smoking Martha with any other band.
Her supporting cast also happens to be excellent, showing their solid chops, and “Ebb Of The Night” serves as the perfect warm up for what’s still to come as it transitions seamlessly through various mutations without taking a breath. The instrumentation explodes alongside tremendously fierce vocals that make a powerful impact. Crammed full of passion and vitality, this jaw dropping intense offering is sure to quickly become a definitive Smoking Martha anthem.
But there is plenty more to love on this release. The band has a knack for breathing new life into old ideas and writing material with a classic spirit. Their softer dynamics are beautifully integrated into “Baby Let Me Go”, awash with acoustic guitars and swooning strings.
“What’s Her Name” is a straight up anthem for the cheated and mistreated, and Tasha D once again doesn’t fail to show that her vocal cords are made of sterling silver as she hits some unfathomable notes. With sleezy dual guitar riffs, fiery lead solos, crashing drums and deep bass lines what’s not to like about this rocker?
“Stranger Things” sets an intense pace, showcasing Tasha D’s always convincing bravado and effortless range over engaging guitar arrangements. Jordy Poynter’s drumming is another highlight here, as his playing has an old-school Bonham feel and sounds as huge as the backbone of the song.
All throughout the album “In Deep”, Smoking Martha injects the tracks with piercing percussion and menacing guitars that continue to cut deep. This precedes melodic choruses that speed along smoothly, adding to the self-assured tone forged by the uncompromising lyrics. The combination of stomping riffs and dexterous fills complement the songs without ever sounding too flashy. A five star rating hardly seems sufficient to afford this album the credit it deserves.