Album Review: Martin Rossiter – The Defenestration of St Martin

The early 90’s were a personal feast of ‘Rock n Roll’ music in my life. Things were good… very good indeed. I still had hair. The children were the right age to palm off on the grandparents and the proliferation of quality guitar music was at its height. This was Brit Pop indie heaven and though it was only a short lived peak, that peak was as high as they came. The bands ultimately crashed and burned or in many cases slowly rolled down the mountain to end up as a bloated parody of former greatness but when they were good they were up there to match the heights of the music boom of the early 60’s. The likes of Oasis, Suede, Blur, Pulp, Shed Seven, Gene and many more crashed out some remarkable sounds. We may laugh out loud at the later exploits of some of these bands but when they hit the ground during those early days it caused as good an impact as a meteor in central Russia. These were the days when great bands cut their teeth in the toilets of Britain. If you found them early enough you could catch any of the above playing for a few quid learning the ropes at the smallest of venues or down the local Polytechnic. Even the support bands rocked your world in those days and more gems were uncovered (I still play Strangelove albums on a weekly basis)…

Jump forward to the desperate days of 2012. All the Polytechnics have become Universities and lots of the smaller venues have been closed down many of them ending up as student accommodation for the vast amount of new recruits to the ‘built for profit’ education of the Super University. Nobody has any money and it’s all doom and gloom! The right mix for the new Punk or the next big thing you would think? But there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm from the kids of today as they crawl off to play the latest video nasty. “You’re a bitter and twisted old man” I hear you shout and maybe you’re right but even the newest of bands are filling the local O2 at £25 a head and just off the back of a track from the latest Samsung advert. If you want something underground you have to make an effort. The apathy of today’s youth means it’s many of us oldies who are left to champion the new wave of new wave.

The Kings of the past have seen the gap in the market and have come rushing back through. The likes of Pulp, Shed Seven, and Suede are all back on the market and the remnants of Oasis never seem to have gone away. They all seem to be doing a similar thing or returning to milk the past glories and I can’t say I blame them. “If it’s better than what’s about then go for it” I say. It may not be up there with when it first hit us between the eyes but these guys have probably got their own kids and we all know how expensive those University fees are going to be….

But if you dig a little bit deeper you can find that the talent from days gone by is still there in bucket loads. A perfect example of this is the brilliant under the radar album which has been self-released by ex- Gene front man Martin Rossiter. ‘The Defenestration of St Martin’ is a sublime slice of life’s torment. He opens himself up to the World and lays it all bare to see and all still with that beautiful distinctive voice of indie days past. Older and richer like that distinctive Red wine you always knew Martin was drinking while the other Brit pop boys got hammered on lager, lager, lager…  Rossiter has been quiet for a very long time and he has come back with an album that not only tears out your heart but then uses it for an impromptu kick about on the street.

Every song from the 9 minutes of the starter ‘Three Points on a Compass’ through to the final bars of ‘Let the Waves Carry You’ remind you of why you loved those early days of indie heaven. ‘Drop Anchor’ is a classic that I know I will cherish for the rest of my days. These songs are stripped to the bone classics but the music those original indie boys gave us had a depth to them that could not be touched by the likes of most of todays so called indie superstars. Piano ballads here and there that allow Martins vulnerable vibrato to twang your heartstring, (Sing it Loud), whereas the theatrical is never that far away – just take a listen to I must be Jesus.

Thank you Martin for reminding me why music is everything in life and is not just a throw away MP3 or something from the latest John Lewis advert….. Do yourself a very big favour and buy Martins album. You will not be disappointed……

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