21 Mar 2023

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

John Martin - Album Review: Zealander

14 Sep 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Drummer/Singer and multi-instrumentalist; John Martin has just released his third album Zealander. His love of strong pop melodies and James Brown covers shine through on this album mingling with his uniquely upbeat sound. Zealander was just the musical tonic I needed to combat any “Groundhog Day” blues.

Years of playing James Brown covers has given John Martin's music a smooth retro pop vibe and has helped him develop his own refreshing, funky pop electronica sound which shines on this 11-track album. Album artwork was taken by John of a custom 3D model of himself “the Zealander” in a variety of spectacular Wellington locations, which is engaging.

John Martin has an era of musical expertise which has broadened to include the keyboard, bass and guitar. When he felt the urge to write his own music he could “barely string three chords together” however following the punk ethos of ‘I’ll just do it anyway’, John set out to write and record his music. The result is smooth vocals over well written lyrics reflecting his own viewpoint on life. Tight instrumentals and clean recording lend for an enjoyable listening experience.

Launching into it with The Best Song In The World with a strong indication that this was going to be some good nostalgic sounding original 80s synth pop recrafted into a modern 2021 sound.

Moving through Zealander, I could hear the James Brown influence was strong, particularly on Living The Dream, an electronic pop song with a good amount of synth, cowbell and happy vibes.

Track 5 Man Child offered up a curve ball, from the very first chord I was reminded of Talking Heads. More David Byrne, less James Brown.

Each track threw out a funky pop vibe laden with synth. I found Zealander to be refreshing and multidimensional, I heard tones of James Brown, David Byrne and even a hint of David Bowie on the last track, Put It In A Song. This album was like a long walk on the beach during a warm Summer day, it made me feel sunny inside. Which is what we all need right about now.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About John Martin

Hailing from the south coast of Wellington, multi-instrumentalist song writer John Martin uses his years of experience playing in a multitude of bands to produce his own unique blend of music.

Starting out in the nineties as the singing drummer for Wildside act Emulsifier, John has gone on to produce his own albums with his third and latest, Zealander featuring a video for the single The Best Song In The World. Several years in the making, these songs reflect John's outlook on life and a certain punk DIY attitude towards the label multi-instrumentalist as well as a new found sense of identity in this Covid world. The album artwork is a series of photographs taken by John of a custom 3D model of himself, "the Zealander" in a variety of spectacular Wellington locations. The album is available for stream/download from MeotropeMusic on Bandcamp.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for John Martin


Year: 2021
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Corinne Rutherford

Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Album Review: Look Wot The Cat Dragged In
15 Mar 2023 // by Corinne Rutherford
Masters of music and magic helmed by Captain Festus McBoyle are back, with their 4th album Look Wot The Cat Dragged In. Another amusing and entertaining offering from one of New Zealand's top family entertainers, as always delivered in the captain's flamboyant style.
10:32 - Single/Video Review: Coffee Shop Girl
23 Feb 2023 // by Corinne Rutherford
London based, future-soul collective 10:32 have recently released their latest single accompanied by a cosmic music video Coffee Shop Girl. Predominantly UK based, lead vocalist Bridget Walsh adds a Kiwi flavour.
TSENATE - Single Review: Superstar
10 Feb 2023 // by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand based artist/producer TSENATE has recently released her third single Superstar, which follows on from her debut single 4 The Ride in 2021 and No1 Else Feels Like Home in 2022. Her latest track has a sound reminiscent of early 2000 RnB which oozes slow jam vibes.
Keeley Shade - Single Review: Restless
09 Dec 2022 // by Corinne Rutherford
Canadian born New Zealand raised singer-songwriter Keeley Shade has just dropped her latest single Restless. Keeley may have a small following at present, but she has a mighty sound representing a “niche brand of DIY female artist/producer in an Indie-Pop/Rock genre”.
Lisa Crawley - Single Review: Don’t Delete Me
30 Nov 2022 // by Corinne Rutherford
Los Angeles based; Kiwi award-winning song writer Lisa Crawley has recently released her latest single Don’t Delete Me from her recent EP Looking For Love (In A Major) delivering a silky soft indie pop number backed by restrained elegant piano playing. Already a seasoned musician Lisa is a four-time APRA Silver Scroll Award nominee twice selected for the prestigious Banff Centre songwriter residency in Canada among several other glittering accolades.
Khailana - Single Review: Like A Demon
10 Nov 2022 // by Corinne Rutherford
Otaki based independent ethereal pop artist Khailana, has just released her third single Like A Demon. Four years in the making the track is a mystical and captivating song, a moody tale ultimately about “how people can construct an entire version of you based off of one little thing that you’ve said or done”.
laura. - Single/Video Review: Safety in Numbers (Graeme Woller Remix)
08 Nov 2022 // by Corinne Rutherford
Taranaki songwriter Laura Griffiths is releasing a banging dance remix of her hugely popular track Safety In Numbers. This version produced by Graeme Woller, transforms a “fun indie pop” tune into a dance banger.
Claudia Robin Gunn - Album Review: Sing For The Sea
18 Oct 2022 // by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland songwriter Claudia Gunn has recently released her latest family friendly album Sing For The Sea (Little Wild Ocean Friends). A robust 24 tracks of delightful marine themed songs.
View All Articles By Corinne Rutherford

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • BOY'S A LIAR PT. 2
    PinkPantheress And Ice Spice
    Miley Cyrus
    The Weeknd And Ariana Grande
    Morgan Wallen
    RAYE feat. 070 Shake
    Coi Leray
    Harry Styles
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem