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Marah: Angels Of Destruction!

B+

Marah

Album: Angels Of Destruction!
Label: Yep Roc

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The theory of classic-rock evolution, as devised by staunch traditionalists like The Black Crowes and Oasis, is centered on survival of the fittest. Those who can maintain the retro swagger long enough—at least one decade, with a minimum of two original members—can go from pretending to be classic-rock bands to simply being them. Sure enough, almost exactly 10 years after Marah's debut (the memorably titled Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight), the Philly-born and Brooklyn-based band rocks with the unselfconscious finesse of a grizzled veteran on Angels Of Destruction! Songwriters Dave and Serge Bielanko have immersed themselves in classic-rock vocabulary for so long that it's practically their primary language. "Angels On A Passing Train" and the terrific rock-soul ballad "Blue But Cool" don't have anything particularly interesting to say—the lyrics are all about salvation, redemption, and other big ideas Craig Finn repackages far more ingeniously—but they jump out of the speakers with just the right mix of conviction and craftsmanship. Emulating Springsteen back when emulating Springsteen wasn't cool is starting to pay off.