In Review: MARTYR PRIVATES – MARTYR PRIVATES (BEDROOM SUCK, 2014)

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Martyr Privates the record is a dirty, beat-up collection of wan rock-and-roll countenance. It’s tobacco-stained, the sleeves are rolled up and it’s has a slight sweat-sheen which means there is effort here, even if they sing about not giving any fucks. 

Bedroom Suck Records are having a great year of understated releases. Peter Escott, Lower Plenty and a forthcoming Fair Maiden record are all testament to BSR’s focus on the off-centre and interesting this year. Martyr Privates are a band that produces straightforward but impressive rock-and-roll, so it’s actually almost a change of pace for the record label to release this now. The thing is, I’m pretty sure this album was meant to come out a lil’ while ago, but whatever – here it is.

Martyr Privates are Cameron Hawes (ex-I Heart Hiroshima and Slug Guts), Ashleigh Shipton and Sam Dixon (also in EXEK). The trio formed a few years back in a lull between Slug Guts projects, during a waterlogged period of malaise (they formed during the Brisbane floods, okay?). Originally more of a slack-dirge experiment, Martyr Privates have straightened up somewhat and opened a window to let some air in. Their self-titled LP is a dusty affair with some re-recorded tunes and a slew of newbie’s.

This record throbs like a diesel-fuelled muscle car, spewing copious amounts of pollutant smog while revving and cruising above the speed limit. The whole record kicks up a dirty fuss, but there are elements of listlessness that are communicated through Cameron Hawes’ lyrics and vocals. There is a dissatisfaction and a restless emotive quality, like everyone is sick of their situation – but where the fuck else are they going to go?

The guitars carry torque and the bass creates an ever-present pulse. The drums keep time of the weary wandering, a steady pace -j ust enough for the band to stomp the dust off their boots. This is dirty rock-and-roll and it’s good – very good. Although the songs seem to blend into one another, they mesh so well it actually makes it a lot easier to listen to the album as a whole. There are standout songs (‘Gold Chew’, ‘Something To Sell’, ‘Sores’, the reworked version of ‘Bless’) and there are some weaker ones, but as a whole this LP is a strong entity.

Martyr Privates the record is a dirty, beat-up collection of wan rock-and-roll countenance. It doesn’t rework the formula or anything, but there is a charm to the whole piece. It’s tobacco-stained, the sleeves are rolled up and it’s has a slight sweat-sheen which means there is effort here, even if they sing about not giving any fucks.

MARTYR PRIVATES SOUNDCLUD / BEDROOM SUCK STORE