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Marvel - The Hills Have Eyes Award winner

Marvel
The Hills Have Eyes
by Stew Metallion Taylor at 22 August 2017, 4:52 PM

Swedish Rockers MARVEL released this mini LP in Europe in 2015 but now it gets a US release in 2017 and I am sure that the American Rock fans will lap this up. It is a fun twenty minutes, including six songs. There are five originals and an excellent cover of WASP’s “L.O.V.E. Machine”.

MARVEL combine a classic rich 70’s sound with a youthful injection of modern energy. The band have been around since 2002 but sound fresh following in the tradition of Scandinavian “Rock with fun” style bands like TURBONEGRO. The sound does have an edge to it with a bit of a punky riffing and drumming.  However, you can’t help but hear fun Classic Rock influences such as KISS.

The mini-album kicks off with “Back In The Saddle” and a great riff and classic harmonizing guitar sound. You can hear a touch of Paul Stanley when hearing John Steen’s vocals. There is also some real KISS style “whooing” in the chorus too. However, the song is original sounding and a great start. “One Shining Moment” starts with a nice rolling bass riff with the vocals a bit lower in the mix and a more of a denser sound compared to the opening track. This is heavier and a head banging song with some pounding drums but there is still melody and backing vocals in the chorus. There is a really nice bass sound on this one. Then we have the title track “Hills Have Eyes” which is a real upbeat number starting off with a whistling intro and jaunty drums. This almost has a 60’s Pop song feel but with a Heavy Rock band rhythm section. There are driving acoustic guitars behind the riffs.  “Goodbye Shalom” is another acoustic guitar driven Rock song with upbeat percussion and nice harmonizing vocals. MARVEL does this style as good as any band out there and have that cross-over appeal for non-Heavy Rock and Metal fans. Everything is tuneful and easy to listen to.

Next up is a great version of L.O.V.E. Machine by WASP. Somehow the band have kept the power but added more melody and introduced subtle keyboards that work really well. I’m tempted to say this is better than the original, but the original is a classic. Either way, this is one of the best cover versions I’ve heard.

Closing the record is a more acoustic type song with great lyrics called “Bring it On”. This has great harmonizing vocals and guitars and a nice solo and breakdown. All in all, a fun mini-album with great playing and songwriting plus that super cover song. Roll on the new album out soon called “At The Sunshine Factory”.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Back in the Saddle
2. One Shining Moment
3. Hills Have Eyes
4. Goodbye Shalom
5. L.O.V.E. Machine (WASP Cover)
6. Bring it On
Lineup:
Ulrik Bodstedt - Bass
Tony Samuelsson - Drums
John Steen - Guitar and Vocals
Record Label: Killer Cobra Records
     


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