Happy Martyr rapper Alex Lusty is the greatest musician of all time. Move over Cobain, Marshall, Blackwell, Doughman et al. Lusty wrote the greatest lyric of all time in his previous outfit Frigid Vinegar when he sang “you’ll always come 2nd to football and music” on ‘How Cheap is Your Love’. Never has another human being been able to express my ethos in life quite as well as Mr Lusty. Since Frigid Vinegar and that release, back in 1999, Mr Lusty’s been a busy boy releasing music with 7 different bands, including this, a collaboration with Boz Boorer, formerly of The Polecats and now working with former Smiths miserablist Morrissey.
Happy Marty’s sound is an eclectic mix of hip hop, rap, punk and rockabilly that sounds like it should be the soundtrack to This Is England.
Opening track is classic Lusty, displaying every side of him including his achilles heel of lust and passion. It’s all love and romance and Lusty snarls the lyrics with anger and regret. Delightful. Rusty Nail is in a similar vein, with a beautiful guitar track and Lusty’s spitting lyrics. If you like good, interesting, thought-provoking lyrics then this is for you. The album continues in a similar mould and if there’s one criticism is that it gets a bit formulaic and samey with the songs morphing into one long stream of strummed guitars and rapped poems.
I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed the record though, it’s stunning. It’s just to get some more airtime on my iPod it could do with a bit more variety. The band certainly have it in their sound; ‘It Never Rains But It Pours’ hints at similarities with Mike Skinner, only less dull and more interesting. They also have ‘Old Skool’, the band’s final number. It’s a fun sing-along garage rock number with it’s refrain of “there’s no fool like an old fool and I am strictly old skool”. More variety wouldn’t go amiss but it’s enjoyable. Boorer’s guitar playing is enjoyable and Lusty’s tragi-comedy lyrics keep the listener entertained.
It’s a good album, not great. Hard to live up to things when you’re the greatest ever though. I’ll await the next HM record with excitement, though. “Ladies and gentlemen form an orderly queue – I might just be the right man for you” sings Lusty on ‘This Small Town’. Indeed, you’ll do for me.