Friday 19 August 2022

The Martial Arts - Getting Stranger By The Month

If Pretty In Pink 2 ever gets made in Glasgow, then The Martial Arts will soundtrack it. Skinny tie new wave like the first Kiwi Jr album, only with a nod to The Cars rather than Pavement. All sighing backing vocals, fist-pumpin' powerpop and teen energy devoted to gurls and romantic tumult.

The Martial Arts is Paul Kelly (no, not that one, or that one, or even that one) but it's easy to imagine him being called Chip, Buddy or Jeff. I'm sure some of his favourite recording artists are The Go-Go's, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. And if you were ever in doubt about a central inspiration, The Wild Humdrum hitches its hook on California Girls.

If the UK want to clean up at next year's Eurovision Song Contest, the clever money's on The Martial Arts reaching out across seas to unite nations in a harmonic whole.