Album Review: Smoking Martha – Universe (Xelon Entertainment)

The rising diverse Brisbane alt-rock group that is Smoking Martha is set to release their new full-length studio album, ‘Universe’, on December 3rd, 2021 via Xelon Entertainment.

A band whose rise has been steady but moving in an upward trajectory, we’ve been waiting for something from Smoking Martha that will turn them into superstars.

Well, the wait is over. Universe is here and there’s no doubt that the alt-rock group are about to take over the world. From the foot-tapping and wacky energy of Good Girls, with its immensely rocking chorus, to the heartfelt Only Love and the powerful melodies of I Tried, the first part of this album will have many listeners sold already.

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Which makes this probably a good time to mention that a major part of Smoking Martha’s appeal is the remarkable vocals of Natasha Doherty. She is outstanding and when coupled with class rock riffing, strong bass vigour and the solid backbone of percussion, Smoking Martha seem unbeatable.

Things stay on the right path with the dramatic and emotive power of Wonderful Happiness, the vast warmth spread by the commanding Liquid Sunshine and the surprising simplicity of the bluesy Intermission. The halfway point of the album reached, and Smoking Martha having turned in an absolute banger already.

Can it get better? Neon Lights’ is super chilled and very catchy, Ghost is a return to the peppier, rock-infused liveliness and It’s A Lie is one hell of a rocking groove-heavy track. The latter’s riffs are on another level but once again, Doherty leads the way with her power and poise.

There must be a bad track here, right? Out of 12 there must be one that’s just a little rubbish, right? Well, it’s not the anthemic Wild and Free or the rocking explosivity of In the Shadows that’s for sure. A pair of Smoking Martha tracks that are going to sound even bigger in a live environment.

Which brings us to the end and Smoking Martha make sure things go out on a high. The title track is poignant and powerful, exactly as you would hope it to be. A joyful finish that would make you feel quite pensive if it wasn’t on an album filled with such vigour, heartfelt moments, and influential musicianship.

A wonderful release that promises to send Smoking Martha hurtling into the stratosphere.

Smoking Martha – Universe Full Track Listing:

1. Good Girls
2. Only Love
3. I Tried
4. Wonderful Happiness
5. Liquid Sunshine
6. Intermission
7. Neon Lights
8. Ghost
9. It’s A Lie
10. Wild and Free
11. In the Shadows
12. Universe


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Smoking Martha - Universe (Xelon Entertainment)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
User Review
9.55/10 (2 votes)