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If Marah were ever to rewrite its resume, it should begin with three words: "soul," "chaos," and, most notably, "reinvention." Led by ex-Philadelphia siblings Dave and Serge Bielanko, the band has never shied away from tinkering with either its sound or lineup. While the results arent always a hit (see 2002s debacle Float Away with the Friday Night Gods), Marah manages to stay buckled into the rock & roll drivers seat--these days riding the restive streets of Brooklyn--on album number six, which features habitual rockers like "Coughing Up Blood" and the playful title track. On board now is the first female, keyboardist Christine Smith. As much a constituent as a guest, Smith adds subtle layers of piano to the formidable "Wild West Love Song" and the bluesy, Zeppelin-like "Jesus in the Temple." But even more newsworthy, her jazzy stylings have rubbed off on the Bielankos. Check out "Santos De Madera," a breezy pop song, the ballad "Blue But Cool," and the 10-minute "Wilderness," Marahs very own "Day In The Life." --Scott Holter
Angels of Destruction!
A rock tour becomes a pilgrimage passin through this wilderness, searchin for our home or possibly vice versa on Marah s latest album, Angels of Destruction! Both a beefy, bluesy, rock-and-soul bar band and a hand-clapping, guitar-strumming folk-rock band are at the core of Marah, which formed in Philadelphia in the early 1990s and resettled in Brooklyn. Although Marah got started in the heyday of grunge, the band s two songwriters, singers and guitarists, the brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko, reach back to the same roots as Bruce Springsteen does. At times Marah can sound like Elvis Costello leading the E Street Band.
Like their predecessors the Bielanko brothers have far more to say than most bar bands. They pour out words and ideas, and it has taken them some time to keep their verbiage from crowding the songs. On Angels of Destruction! they have found the balance. The words are aligned within melodies and hooks, whether it s the folk-rock tango of Angels on a Passing Train or the driven eighth-note pounding of Old Time Tickin Away.
Angels of Destruction! worries about apocalypse and redemption. It also tells tales from the band s perpetual travels particularly in Spain, where it has a strong following and from its New York City home, where We come up from the subway/Like we re freed out of Hell. Any hint of pretension dissolves in Marah s music, as the Bielanko brothers raspy, growly vocals ride roadhouse grooves. In Rolling Stonesy stomps and skiffle bounces, easygoing vaudeville shuffles and driving rockabilly boogies the songs make allegorical visions sound like barroom banter. JON PARELES, NEW YORK TIMES, JANUARY 6, 2008 --New York Times
Despite being billed as a post-rehab collection about redemption, there is a thread of glorious, edge-of-the-world chaos running through Marah's sixth album. The Brooklyn-via-Philadelphia band has developed a reputation as a stellar live act, but its records are often hit-and-miss affairs. With this new collection, however, Marah manages to convey the manic energy that makes it such a great performer, and the result is its best album yet. Opener "Coughing Up Blood" sets the mood: The instruments whirl and collide while frontman David Bielanko sings about loss and joy. "Angels on a Passing Train" spins a yarn about being filled with rage while managing to sound upbeat and excited. The rest of the record is full of propulsive, twangy rockers that sound like early Bruce Springsteen or an unbuttoned, pumped-full-of-happy-pills Wilco. Sobering up and getting straight never sounded like so much fun. Clover Hope --Billboard Magazine
This would rate very high on my list of all time most dynamically compressed, horribly mastered albums. And the songs are just okay, not great. Read morePublished on July 4, 2012 by TooMuchFun
Esquire this year voted them"Best Bar Band in the US" I had 1 cd now I have all. Get this and the othersPublished on July 27, 2008 by Roy B. Harmon