SMS | The Martial Arts – Getting Stranger By The Month

A wave of far-out sonic tones and we’re off with Guilt By Association, which has a cool mixture of overwhelming 60’s grooves and a touch of the modern. It’s bright and colourful, the chorus is insanely good, and Paul is incredible avid in his singing. With basically only a split second of reprieve in between, he and his troupe immediately carry on into Bethany, which is even more wonderfully cheery and jubilant than its predecessor, especially with the fruity synths, and it’s pretty much certain to get you smiling like an unapologetic fool.

Getting Stranger enters in with a nifty bassline, and continues to impress with the likes of nice writing, a noticeably pumping beat and damn fine, fancy guitar solos. Nicechap is the most relaxed of the bunch to this point but still delivers the pleasantries, with the highlight undoubtedly being the amazing collective vocals which spark an infectious hook. The concluding number The Wild Humdrum starts off with a good showing on the piano at a stable pace before picking it up to a dazzling degree complete with one last riveting displays of riffs, keys and harmonies.

Paul Kelly, one of the Scottish masters of alt-pop, made a favourable return under The Martial Arts banner in 2019 with a short and sweet EP, but this is a big step up. Getting Stranger By The Month is a fiercely entertaining record that makes the most of the entire 20 minute runtime, packing every positive element imaginable into each of the deliciously entertaining, electric songs that have you engaged, gushing, dancing along and craving for even more once the party is over.


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