Album: The Martinis

Smitten, COOKING VINYL
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Joey Santiago's idiosyncratic guitar lines were the spice that complemented Black Francis's furious riffs in the Pixies, and a vital part in that band's ascent. Since they split a decade ago, little has been heard from Santiago, but now he turns up as half of the duo The Martinis, alongside the singer and songwriter, Linda Mallari: they have reportedly worked together since pre-Pixies days, which means Smitten must have one of the longest gestations in pop history. Initially, Mallari's vocals seem a touch mannered on the opening "Flyer", which succeeds largely through the berserk shudder of Santiago's guitar. But things improve, with tracks such as "Right Behind You" and "Big Three Wheeler" being charming exercises in Breeders-style indie-pop, and "You Are the One" employing the classic quiet verse/noisy chorus format Nirvana copped from the Pixies. Mallari's lyrics deal with the pop staples of love, heartbreak, introspection and escape, all handled with a refreshing minimum of reproach and an

Joey Santiago's idiosyncratic guitar lines were the spice that complemented Black Francis's furious riffs in the Pixies, and a vital part in that band's ascent. Since they split a decade ago, little has been heard from Santiago, but now he turns up as half of the duo The Martinis, alongside the singer and songwriter, Linda Mallari: they have reportedly worked together since pre-Pixies days, which means Smitten must have one of the longest gestations in pop history. Initially, Mallari's vocals seem a touch mannered on the opening "Flyer", which succeeds largely through the berserk shudder of Santiago's guitar. But things improve, with tracks such as "Right Behind You" and "Big Three Wheeler" being charming exercises in Breeders-style indie-pop, and "You Are the One" employing the classic quiet verse/noisy chorus format Nirvana copped from the Pixies. Mallari's lyrics deal with the pop staples of love, heartbreak, introspection and escape, all handled with a refreshing minimum of reproach and an engaging tunefulness. But it's Santiago's guitar that gives the songs their character, whether he's dashing off some mutant-country picking on "Out upon the Road" or using his angular twang on "Wishful Thinking". A welcome return.

Comments