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The Brothers Martin

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
The Brothers Martin
Sounds like … electronic flavored alternative pop/rock that combines the best elements of Starflyer 59, Joy Electric, The Smiths, New Order, The Killers and Muse.At a glance … with the same offbeat creativity that characterized their respective bands, collaborating works just as well on Ronnie and Jason Martin's latest endeavor. Track Listing Communication
The Harsh Effect
The Missionary
Deaf Will Hear
The Plot That Weaves
Fears to Remember
Behavior Explains
Get the Money
Life on Strings

Though it clocks in at a little less than 35 minutes, the self-titled debut from The Brothers Martin packs plenty of musical punch. Which isn't all that surprising given the diverse musical pedigrees of Ronnie and Jason Martin, the respective frontmen and founders of Joy Electric and Starflyer 59 who also run a trucking business together.

On their first full-length collaboration, the brothers don't stray far from the influences that characterize their other bands, namely '80s icons like The Smiths, The Police, and New Order. While "Fears to Remember" could easily be a B-side from Joy Electric's past work, complete with its analog video game-like sound effects, "The Missionary" has the more moody, ambient feel of a Starflyer 59 song. But proving the old adage that "two is better than one," their influences converge brilliantly on "The Plot That Weaves"—which resembles The Smiths crossed with The Killers, and is easily the best track.

Even though Ronnie and Jason lean heavily on hip '80s acts for sonic inspiration, The Brothers Martin still sounds very current, partly because there's a bit of an '80s revival in today's rock. "Behavior Explains" and the aforementioned "The Plot That Weaves" wouldn't feel out of place on albums from The Killers, Postal Service, and Panic! At the Disco. But as with their work in Joy Electric and Starflyer 59, Ronnie and Jason manage to emulate while making their own mark artistically.

And while many of the songs' lyrics are open to more individual interpretation, songs like "The Harsh Effect," "Opportunities" and "Life on Strings" provide poetic and timely commentary on the times we live in. That, combined with a true sense of uniqueness in terms of artistry, is ultimately what makes The Brothers Martin shine. Here's hoping this is a lasting partnership and collaboration between the two creative talents.

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