On the fringes of music you can find some really spectacular things. It’s a journey that’s often worth taking- trying to scope out artists doing something unique and passionate in the face of everything corporate and plain. Here’s one of those few examples of true gems that can only really be found with a little searching. Formed in 1999, Red Martian came out of the DIY punk scene in Seattle, WA. Drawing influences from My Bloody Valentine, New York Dolls, and Iggy Pop. Having previously released five CDs, six vinyl LPs, and four acetate limited-edition EPs on the band’s own label (Bughlt Records), Red Martian is proud to be back with its sixth studio album, “Ghost Into The Fog”.
Red Martian is both creative and focused. Their sounds are beautiful and skillful. They are talented in all areas, both musically and lyrically. The crunchy guitar sounds drone, bob and weave, bringing songs to a haunting conclusion. They showcase wonderful arrangements and sonic textures. The songs, at first, sound distant and detached. However, continued exposure will have you thinking, “Wow.” The title track, “Ghost Into The Fog” is an amazing song, which leaves you breathless and emotionally spent, after only 2 minutes and 35 seconds.
If you like alternative rock music and creative guitar work, don’t walk…run and buy this album. It’s wonderful music. Instead of solos or instrumental breaks that usually showcase any guitarist’s formidable skills, Red Martian opt instead for using the six-stringed instrument as a means of texturing and coloring each song. This is best accomplished on songs like “NONE”, “UNDERTOW”, “USE” and “WON’T”.
Usually shoegazer music is much too slow and sludgy for me, but Red Martian puts a new turn on proceedings; they have some power chords, killer riffs and bone-crunching crescendos that it’s almost unfair on their competition. So much so, that if it wasn’t for the song “INGENTING”, I would have forgotten that they use synths too!
The songs on “Ghost Into The Fog” transports you, at the same time it evokes pensive thoughts and draws out dormant emotions. Though the guitar work is superb, dense and emotional and is probably the core of the album. This is not to say that it overshadows the rest of the elements of the band or its music. The lyrics are also big part of the reason why you can listen to this album for days on end. Even in some of its straightforward simplicity, there’s always a line or phrase to latch onto and ponder or smile and sigh about.
Perhaps the most outstanding thing about Red Martian is their seamless blend of electronic, rock, indie and shoegazer. The vigorous electric riffs, sprawling ethereal melodies and the whirling, muscular guitars create an interwoven mash without so much as a hiccup. At first listen, it seems like A fairly typical alternative-rock/shoegazer experience, but upon further listening, the enchantingly experimental angles of the music begins to filter itself fully into your brain.
“Ghost Into The Fog” is uniquely moving and works well on a bunch of emotional levels. It’s difficult to find a musical flaw in here. The album is fiercely adventurous, brooding and expressive, and it’s easy to get hooked after some intensive listening.
Inventive and enticing, this is a breathtaking voyage into a majestic, vintage, non-corporate alternative rock world. Legendary Producer, Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) did a great job with the production of this album and deserves a lot of credit too.