Martian Cult = Sonic Youth + Gary Numan + David Bowie
Martian Cult’s Cheater’s Wave seamlessly blends post-punk and classic new wave, brashly bucking old school genrefication yet maintaining two distinct and historically tense influences. This quick, crisp EP is a shotgun wedding of no-wave and new-wave birthing unmistakably bold progeny. Ap propos to their moniker, songs like “Till the Grass is Gone” and “Lonely Android” open with retro, spacey synths and Bowie-esque vocals reminiscent of the cosmic glam of the Ziggy Stardust era. Martian Cult’s lyrics in “Dangerous” are nihilistic, confrontational, clever and thick with social alarmism yet counter-pointed with tiny moments of tickling pop melodies and hooks just enough to be accessible to all ears. The juxtaposition of sound influences on the EP feels wholly intentional, as though the five-piece band were intent to bemuse you with tongues planted firmly and consciously in cheek. Tracks such as “Control” offer sudden sonic twists and turns via stark electronic interludes and skillful guitar solos, displaying a deft ability to manage the eclectic methods of their craft. The obvious, urgent punk narrative of the EP occasionally feels trite and redundant, yet a confident musicality remains fresh across each track and helps keep the listener’s interest. Cheater’s Wave is weird, enjoyable noise that feels capable of mingling with multiple environments and audiences like a musical chameleon while maintaining a standout coolness factor that catches and keeps attention.