Martial Arts Weekend is a wonderful collaboration between Franklin Bruno (of Nothing Painted Blue) and John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats). Writing some of the nicest underground pop songs this side of Jonathan Rundman, this duo has been writing music together for a decade before this release. Darnielle's innocent, thin voice shapes this into a gorgeous piece of indie folk rock; tracks like "The River Song" are masterpieces of simplicity that get by on good lyrics and charming songwriting. There are really few standouts, and this is a shockingly solid album that shows them adapting to genres that fit their abilities like a glove. The ringing piano of "Memories" sticks out, sounding much like a lost dB's track (although it suffers from some of the only subpar lyrics on the whole album), while "Going to Michigan" is a beautiful road trip song that showcases just how little these two need to make a good track. This album is a winning collaboration that should appeal to anyone who enjoys a catchy folk rock song, or even fans of good pop/rock in general. The Extra Glenns are a charming combo, and this album is concrete proof of their quality.
Martial Arts Weekend Review
by Bradley Torreano