LIKE A MARTYR
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LIKE A MARTYR

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
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"Like A Martyr - Album Review"

Like A Martyr doesn’t mess around too much with fancy bells and whistles or mega production tricks in order to produce good music. A true adage to the term “less is more” LAM are straight up rock and they don’t make any apologies for it. You either love them or you don’t and chances are, whatever your take, the band will keep on doing what they do exactly how they want to do it.
As Long As You Don’t Get Caught is LAM’s second full-length and is a stronger and more assured reality than their first album, The North. The band is solid and they don’t fake any punches or butter you up with sweet tales of girly drinks and pink sugar cupcake icing. The opening title track showcases the band hard tapping into their inner AC/DC while holding onto their own. Then along comes “Calloused Hand By Calloused Hand” to toughen things up a little more. Of course, like any good formulaic rock record there are bluesy riffs, drunken piss taking and even the odd “power ballad.”

Singer/guitarist Jeremy Allingham’s loose and dirty bad-child guitar and leathery voice play centre to a tight as hell band that creates good gritty music for the rocker in us all and as far as shameless rock records go, As Long As You Don’t Get Caught is good as gold. - Discorder Magazine


"Like A Martyr - The North"

Given that any creatively bankrupt classic rocker who comes to the Commodore on a Friday night with a billion-dollar bar band in tow is guaranteed to sell the place out, it’s nuts that a local act as beefy and adept as Like a Martyr doesn’t get even a portion of the interest. The full-tilt, no-shit guitar rock on North has the heady feel of first love. Show me any autumn-years hall-of-famer still beating the boards out there who can counterfeit that. AC/DC? Kiss? Chickenfoot?

Please, rock is dead, until a four-piece like this resurrects it by virtue of sheer infatuation and zeal. Which isn’t to underappreciate the songwriting on North. If the wheel is not being reinvented on tracks like the splendidly titled “And by Coffee I Mean Drugs”, Like a Martyr does know how to put together a four-on-the-floor rocker and then kick you in the pants seat with it.

On the more slowly unwinding title track and the melodramatically mid-tempo “Empires Fall” (complete with cello!), Like a Martyr achieves a balance between vocalist Jeremy Allingham’s modern-rock inclinations and guitarist Ben Henthorne’s more Page-like drift. Everywhere else, the sounds are roomy, the tones are classic, and drummer Dom Coletta nails it to the floor like Dimwit back when he was keeping the Four Horsemen on the straight, narrow, and loud.
-Adrian Mack - Georgia Straight weekly


"Like A Martyr's Love of Rock Started Early"

Jeremy Allingham and Ben Henthorne like to rock. One listen to As Long As You Don’t Get Caught, the new album by the 28-year-old cousins’ band Like a Martyr, makes that abundantly clear. It’s all raucous, straight-up guitar-bass-drums action, recorded live with fervent vocals and, when needed, a bit of the ol’ feedback.

The two come by their penchant for the glorious noise of cranked Les Pauls and Strats honestly. Allingham’s father was a high-school music teacher with a curriculum straight outta School of Rock. And Henthorne’s pop just plain rocks.

“My dad didn’t bother with modes and all that stuff,” says singer-guitarist Allingham, sipping black tea in a Kits coffee shop. “He just taught kids how to play CCR, Tom Petty, all the classics. And Ben’s dad still plays in an ace cover band that’s got these amazing five-part harmonies and is just bustin’ out the Van Morrison and Springsteen.

“So rock ’n’ roll was pretty much bred into us at the earliest age,” he adds, “on road trips and over at each other’s houses and stuff. It was like vinyl on the turntable and rockin’ out, basically.”

Though immersed in guitar-rock from day one, Allingham and lead guitarist Henthorne didn’t actually start making it together until 2005. And the collaboration wasn’t an instant melding of the minds.

“I remember being in the rehearsal studio the first time we ever played,” recalls Henthorne. “Jeremy had sent me a bunch of copies of his songs and I had come up with some lead lines and stuff over top of it, and the first time I played them he shot me this look across the room like, ‘That’s not how the song goes!’?”

“We’re pretty much best friends and brothers outside of the band,” says Allingham, “but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the studio, we’re not afraid to just let it out there. We’re usually recovered from it within 10 to 15 minutes, but the other people who aren’t used to that relationship of 28 years are made to feel pretty uncomfortable.”

“He likes to make sure everything’s perfect,” adds Henthorne, “and I like the mistakes. I like the sloppiness, I like the noise—I like chaos, basically. I like to do three takes and that’s pretty much it.”

The spontaneity Henthorne craves is evident on the new disc, which was recorded at Factory Studios with bassist Matt Denny-Keys and drummer Dominic Coletta. The same lineup performed on the band’s 2008 debut, The North.

“I think we honed our sound a bit more on the new album,” explains Allingham. ”With The North we had an inkling of where we wanted to go with it, but we weren’t there yet, and now we’ve fully decided we’re gonna be a rock ’n’ roll band. From the first songs we wrote that made it to this record, we knew it was gonna be live off the floor, on your turntable, sounding raw.”

The Like a Martyr members were adamant that, as with The North, their latest release get the full-on vinyl treatment (iPod owners needn’t fret, though: the 12-inch version comes with a digital download of all 11 songs).

“That’s how we consume music,” says Allingham of the LP format, “so from the get-go, when we sat down with our engineer, Marcel Rambo, in preproduction we were like, ‘This is gonna be on vinyl—that’s the sound that we’re going for.’ We used like the AC/DC mike setup: drums in the middle, me on the left, Matt standing here, and Ben across the room. Just four guys in a room playing rock ’n’ roll tunes—that’s what it sounds like to me when you drop the needle on it.”

As for expressing that vinyl-friendly sound on-stage, Allingham says that his band has gotten to the point where it’s “not super-tough” scoring gigs around town, his fave venue so far being the Railway Club.

“It’s just an absolute blast every time you play there,” he raves of the venerable Dunsmuir Street joint. “I mean it’s a confined space, so it’s a real bitch to carry your gear through there when you’re setting up, but once you get up there it’s so much fun. People are just generally getting loose and dancing it up.”

Rich Hope and His Evil Doers, the British Columbians, Yukon Blonde, and Red Cedar are just a few of the Vancouver indie acts that have impressed Allingham of late. The one that most inspires his group to stick to its guns is Lions in the Street, another straightforward guitar-rock band searching for its rightful place in the local scene.

“As far as media’s concerned, we’re kind of in a no-man’s land,” says Allingham. “We’re not modern enough for the Fox, and we’re not indie enough for Radio 3, so we’re kinda floatin’ in space. But you can’t get away from what you love and what you do.”

Like a Martyr plays the Railway Club on Friday (November 26). - Georgia Straight Weekly


"Like A Martyr - As Long As You Don't Get Caught"

" 'As Long As You Don't Get Caught' is by far one of the best albums I've heard since I started doing the show. It rocks all around, it's gritty, it's catchy and it's fucking awesome." -Craig Stone, Power 104 Kelowna - Power 104 Kelowna - Craig Stone


"Like A Martyr - Langley Times Feature"

Sit down, Warren Zevon fans. Like a Martyr is coming to Langley, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

The name of the band, featuring a trio of local musicians isn’t, in fact, a reference to the Zevon song, Accidentally Like a Martyr.

“I didn’t even know it was a song,” said the band’s lead singer/rhythm guitarist Jeremy Allingham.

But at least one of their fans seemed to, regularly serenading the band with lyrics they didn’t recognize.

“Every time we’d come out on stage, he’d sing the same song,” Allingham said.

Finally, he Googled the lyrics and figured out what was happening.

“I thought, ‘Wow, I’m an idiot,’” he laughed.

The band’s name is actually a reference, to lyrics from a song by East Coast musician Buck 65: “Like a martyr, I drove myself harder and harder.”

Words to live by for Allingham and his bandmates, Matt Denny-Keys (bass), Dominic Coletta (drums) and Ben Henthorne (lead guitar).

“We’ve been working hard and gigging, making an album with our own money and everything that comes with it,” said Allingham, over the phone from his home in Vancouver.

Like a Martyr is a project a dozen years in the making for the Brookswood Secondary grad, who started out at 15, playing punk music with his buddies in a garage.

“At 19, I decided to start my own project. It’s had a few different faces and phases.”

Allingham was joined by Henthorne, who just happens to be his cousin, shortly afterward. They’ve formed the core of the band which has had seven or eight different members through the years, playing straight up rock and roll, minus the sub-genres, from emo to alternative, that seem to permeate the industry.

“Or any of the dozens of descriptions people have. I think it blurs the picture,” Allingham said.

“We’re proving rock and roll is still a viable genre.”

At 27, Allingham, a former Langley Times sports columnist, now writes for a sports memorabilia company in Vancouver to pay the bills. When he’s not at his desk, he and his bandmates have been slugging it out on the Vancouver music scene, playing everywhere from dives to higher-end establishments hoping to one day be able to give up their day jobs.

Like a Martyr has played shows in the city at the Red Room, Railway Club, The Venue (formerly the Plaza) and the Media Club, as well as taking a few gigs in the Interior, impressing music critics along the way.

On Saturday, Dec. 19, Like a Martyr will play a pre-Christmas show at Fernridge Hall in south Langley.

Although three of its four members are from Langley, (Coletta hails from Vancouver) the band has so far played only one concert here.

He’s optimistic next weekend’s show will draw a good crowd of fans who enjoy straight-up rock and roll.

“There are plenty of people who come to see us (in Vancouver) regularly. We get huge support (from Langley),” he said.

Now, with the band coming to the Valley, they’re looking to get a couple of hundred people out to their show.

“We’re hoping to come back to Langley and play a barn burning, rip roaring show.”

While they’ve been grinding it out live, the band has also been working on its second album, an as-yet-unnamed follow up to their 2008 debut The North.

It should be available sometime in the spring.

“We did something unique,” said Allingham. “We recorded the bed tracks live off the floor.

“These days, 99 per cent of musicians do their tracking one by one (one instrument at a time) but we decided we wanted to make an album that sounded like we do live.”

Following in the footsteps of some of their influences — T.Rex, The Stones and The Beatles — all the band members played in one place as the musicians fed off each other’s energy, creating a more authentic experience for the listener, the singer believes.

“No matter how many millions of dollars of equipment you’ve got, you can’t replicate the sound of a band playing together in a room.”

Fernridge Hall is located at 2389 200 St. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. Admission is $10, plus a non-perishable food item for the Langley Food Bank. Only those 19 and over admitted.
- The Langley Times (Newspaper)


"Like A Martyr - The North"

Like A Martyr
The North
(Independent)

Vancouver own Like A Martyr are happy to bring to you their very recently released debut CD, The North. At first blush LAM sounded like another standard hard rock schlock product that sticks around for a while, eventually imploding, never to be heard from again. But first impressions can be wrong. In this day of countless color-by-numbers acts cluttering up the airwaves, straight up unapologetic hard rock can be hit or miss at best, but Like A Martyr have guts and could be on to something.
Though not necessarily my cup of gravy, LAM have a strong album with The North. Opening with the tough as nails and dirt caked “Elizabeth”, the band waste no time in grabbing hold of your inner rocker while darkly themed lovely tracks such as “Empires Fall” offer very real introspection. All in all, this music is a little bit of southern fried blues swimming in a sea of hooky hard rock goodness. Jeremy Allingham and co. have created an album that brings to mind bar room fights, Summertime drinking and tawdry love affairs with fast women, all the while pushing a lyrical content that tells the tale from a more self actualized and sensitive viewpoint.
While not smashing any great walls The North is very good at what it is. Well polished, well played and confident. This is good time hard rock at it’s best, and for a first effort a mighty tip of the hat is in order.

~Nathan Pike

- Discorder Magazine


"Like A Martyr mention"

...riffmongers Like A Martyr (are serious contenders) for the title of Vancouver's most kick-ass new rock band." -Steve Newton - Georgia Straight weekly


"Like A Martyr - Radio Play"

From the first spin of Like A Martyr’s “And By Coffee I Mean Drugs,” we were hooked, much like coffee or drugs…their brand of danceable and energetic rock is eclectic and catchy as hell. “And By Coffee I Mean Drugs” rocketed to number one on our Evolving 20, and the recently added “Elizabeth” is poised to do the same.
-Kristina Mameli (Music Director) - Evolution 107.9FM (Burnaby, BC)


Discography

"Like A Martyr" (EP - 2007)
"The North" (LP - 2008)
"As Long As You Don't Get Caught" (LP - 2010)

Photos

Bio

Reviews

"...riffmongers Like A Martyr (are serious contenders) for the title of Vancouver's most kick-ass new rock band." -The Georgia Straight (Steve Newton)

"The full-tilt, no-shit guitar rock on The North has the heady feel of first love...Please, rock is dead, until a four-piece like this resurrects it by virtue of sheer infatuation and zeal...Like a Martyr know how to put together a four-on-the-floor rocker and then kick you in the pants seat with it." -The Georgia Straight (Adrian Mack)

Biography

Like A Martyr – As Long As You Don’t Get Caught (Fantasy Ranch Records)

“Please, rock is dead. Until a four piece like this resurrects it by virtue of sheer infatuation and zeal.” –The Georgia Straight

With their reputation as an unrelentingly gutsy rock ‘n roll band firmly in tact, Like A Martyr has taken the next logical step in the recording of their second full-length album. With the forthcoming release “As Long As You Don’t Get Caught”, the band has summoned the rock ‘n roll pantheon by recording the 11-track album live off the floor at the Factory Studios in Vancouver. Four guys together in a room. Playing the tunes they love. The way it used to be. The way it’s supposed to be.

In achieving the space and vibe of playing together live, the band has harnessed a trusty and familiar sound in the recording of songs that are fresh, unflagging and decidedly forward-looking. No amount of button pushing, knob twisting or Pro Tools wizardry could legitimately replicate “As Long As You Don’t Get Caught”. And that’s just the point. At its root, this is a back-to-basics record built from a foundation of solid musicianship, outstanding song writing and good old fashioned hard work.

Forming the band in 2005, cousins Jeremy Allingham and Ben Henthorne have since spent countless thousands of hours practicing the shit out of their instruments, writing and recording dingy basement demos, and honing their sound to the point of obsession. Though their relationship can often be referred to as “Gallagher-esque” (complete with shouting matches, smashed gear tantrums and pointed hunting knives) theirs is a creative vision that may seem divergent, but almost always results in superior composition in spite, or because of, endless creative struggles. Joining the band one year later on bass, Matt Denny-Keys brought calm, perspective and unclouded focus to a sometimes dangerously unbalanced ship. These three founders and charter members have been referred to as “tireless perfectionist, malcontents hell bent on achieving their vision.”

Creating a gutsy record like this was no accident. The band’s life in rock ‘n roll started early and was reinforced often. Allingham’s dad earned a living teaching high school kids covers of CCR, Elvis and JJ Cale, while Henthorne’s dad played bass in a lights out cover band, whose bread and butter was a heavy dose of Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and 60s soul classics. Denny-Keys’ dad’s record collection sprawled from room to room, meticulously including all essential rock ‘n roll listening, from The Stones to The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix to Buddy Holly and back again.

“As Long As You Don’t Get Caught” is a lifetime of rock ‘n roll, spilled out with every last ounce of sweat, instinct, swagger and passion in their veins. It is broken strings. It is calloused hands. It is miles of endless road. It is sold out gigs and empty rooms. It’s a full bottle of whiskey. It’s an empty bottle of whiskey. It is fireside ballads and balls out rock anthems. It is, rock ‘n roll.
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Like A Martyr's first full-length release, “The North” was released in September 2008 and charted solidly on Canadian college radio, coming in at #1 on Evolution 107.9 in Burnaby, #11 on CFBX Kamloops and #28 on CIUT Toronto. Like A Martyr was selected as one of the Top 20 bands in CFOX's Vancouver Seeds competition in 2009 and 2010 and was also selected to play at Junofest 2009.