With all the legends that have paved the way in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s hard to create an original flavor while staying within the genre. But Alexei Martov do just that on their debut self-titled album released earlier this year. The band—currently based in Montreal, but with two of the members (brothers Matthew and Jonah Dorfman) native to Boston—strays away from the archetypical two-and-a-half-minute radio song. Most tracks reach five or six minutes, each treated as a musical exploration of its own.

Take “Little Match,” a love song with romantic piano solos—most likely thanks to singer/guitarist/pianist Martin Bradstreet’s teenage passion for composing classical piano pieces. It brings a little more rise and fall than your average “silly love song.” On the other side of the rock spectrum sits “Neural Awakening,” a sweeping track featuring electric guitar harmonies and strained organ motifs a la Beethoven’s Fifth.

But just because they are putting their own twist on the rock genre doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten the masters. The penultimate song, “Seed of Expression,” starts with an echoey electric guitar reverb that harks on Hendrix.

Although the vocals detached from the instrumentals make the production quality lower, Alexei Martov have a rock career ahead of them. Like the Big Friendlies say in their song “Late Nineties,” a lot of artists turn into “cover bands so that people listen.” Alexei Martov won’t have to do that with the unique sound they’ve carved out for themselves.

Album Review: Alexei Martov LP
Pros
  • Great guitar riffs
  • A story in each song
  • Emotive
Cons
  • Vocals detached from instrumentals
  • Not a cohesive album
7.5Overall Score

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