If you’re resolved to improve your self-defense this new year, may I suggest The Martial Arts. They may not improve your karate kicks or your break-bricks-with-head skills, but they’ll do wonders for your cardiovascular health as you find yourself bopping around the room to their bouncy rhythms. Their timeless throwback pop sound is influenced, according to their myspace page, by “Partridge & Moulding” (XTC) and “Holsapple & Stamey” (the db’s). It’s rare for young bands these days to name such pairs as influences, rarer still to pull off a comparable tune, but Paul Kelly & Co. have succeeded in doing just that. Surprisingly, the band (Scottish themselves) is only beholden in Sweden to Groover Recordings. This is one band I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes and, more importantly, my ears on in 2008.
P.S. The band was offering their album, Your Sinclair, as a free download through Christmas, but guess what? It’s still live. So grab it while you still can!