Ye Gods finds Martin back on the pop form of yore. With a slightly nasal vocal style, a bit like Tim Burgess, Dead Of Winter harks back to the summery guitar pop with added brass of the Boo Radleys. The vocal comparison is still there on Darwin’s Tree, but the music is spaghetti western with a mariachi influence. Its sublime stuff and works much better. Bear Lake is more laid back beatifications, verging on the country, certainly taking in the pastoral. Pontcanna Stone is a reflective and not a little doomy rumination, the tune rolling on at dawdling pace, taking its time, like the clouds moving in to herald an impending storm. Goldrush ’49 is a suitable updating of Neil Young’s acoustic vibe, with Martin managing to sound even sadder than on the rest of the album. The song is soothed by a gospel hearted spirit and erupts into an ending of grinding guitars and spiritual rendering to California. Orpheus Lament is a standard but highly melodic and catchy pop song. Running is a gorgeous thing, the sound of someone satisfied with his lot and content to make the best of it. The tune glides by effortlessly and you think of him singing this in his garden, a man finally at home. Why You Gotta Bring Me All This Rain sounds note perfect for something Idha would have recorded in the nineties, while Tired and Broke and Black and Blue is a dark version of The Charlatans at their balladeering and acoustic best. The rousing catchy pop of The Golden Key rounds off a rather splendid album.
Ye Gods (and little fishes) is out soon on Sonny Boy Records
Martin Carr's website is here