Our first New Band of the Week of 2021 may well be the first band we’ve spoken to that fuses hard rock, metal and reggae. Spar Marta have honed a fascinating sound that jumps between full-on heavy riffing and more laid-back delicious vocals, with a sprinkling of funk for good measure.
The quintet of Ieva Aleksandrovičiūte, Luke Wilson, Conor Taylor, Sam Liddle and Dan Purvey only released their debut single in March, then ‘you know what’ happened, before they released their debut, self-titled EP in August. And it’s safe to say they’re making an impression with their intriguing fusion of styles.
On the EP, they tell us: “Well, the pandemic kind of ruined any and all plans we had for release shows, but it was still good to release it. We had been working on it for a long time, so it felt good to finally finish it and put it out there. I think people who haven’t heard it might find the raw honesty appealing, after all, it’s our first record so it’s our first time reaching out into the creative space and seeing what comes out. “
The EP opens up with debut single The Postman, which opens up with a building riff that feeds into a smash of rolling drums and stabbing guitar chords. That suddenly gives way to a funky little reggae lick under Ieva’s light vocals, which immediately intensify under a cool riff. The opening riff kicks in under Ieva’s engaging vocals, which are a constant through a long section of various sections. The pace suddenly drops but builds with a twisting riff and vocals, which end on a huge cry and descending stabbing guitars, before a final chorus brings this intense track to a close.
A personal favourite track is Let It Go, which opens up with a cool little riff with stabbing reggae guitars underneath. The reggae beats continue through to a chilled out opening verse, through which the opening riff gradually returns. Ieva’s vocals intensify into a huge chorus with big cries of “Let it go, I will never let you go, I just thought I’d let you know.”
That drops into another mellow verse, with the heavy opening guitars lingering and driving it forward into another huge singalong chorus. This time it ends on stabbing bass with stabs of guitar then a huge cry and desceding guitars under big piercing guitar notes. It suddenly drops into a cheeky reggae guitar solo, which builds into a huge blitz of a guitar solo and a massive final chorus. This is such a cool song, and you can check it out below:
The album is packed with great tracks like Frey, which starts off with light reggae sounds and gradually builds into something huge, before a stunningly good melodic singalong outro. Take Control opens up with some funky riffing and pounding drums then drops into an engaging opening verse and melodic chorus, and ends with a cool laid-back guitar solo that sets up a heavier conclusion. The Syand
The EP closes out with Run, which starts out with light guitars and vocals that suddenly explode into heavier guitar chords and Ieva’s engaging vocals. A faster, yet still light second verse follows, gradually building up to big stabbing guitars under more intense vocals. Delicious high-pitched vocals take over with support from light guitars, and you think it’s come to an end. However, building guitars and drums, high-pitched distant wails to come in and dive into a massive outro that provides a fitting ending to a superb EP.
The Spar Marta sound has been inspired by influences like Biffy Clyro, Alter Bridge, System Of A Down, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith and Royal Blood.
And on what inspires them to write music, don’t expect any deep topical issues, as the band keeps it nice and simple. As they say: “Everyday life. I don’t think we as a band have the background to talk about philosophical or political issues cause we’re all too busy living, as are most people these days.”
There’s plenty more to come from Spar Marta, especially if/when restrictions finally get lifted. So until then, go and blast their EP and hopefully we’ll see them playing live very soon. But, as the band remind us: “Despite its groundbreakingly punishing riffs, our EP will not make you immune to COVID19 so you should still ensure that you are wearing a mask, washing your hands and keeping the social distance.”