(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Editor, RiffRelevant.com)
A Swedish rock band that was formed in the United States. Yep, that’s exactly what you’re getting with Linköping, Sweden’s Märvel as the band was originally born on American soil.
The trio of John Steen, Ulrik Bostedt and Tony Samuelsson founded Märvel back in 2002, during a year in Colorado as foreign exchange students. While still in the U.S., the guys issued their first vinyl EP ‘Marvellous’. It was released through the small N.Y.-based label New York Powerhitters. It got the band airtime on several college radio stations, before they eventually returned to their homeland. Once there, they began releasing further albums.
One of those albums was 2015’s ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and now that effort is getting a proper re-release via The Sign Records. The six-song outing will drop on July 7th.
I am here to tell you that the music Märvel makes is a powerful amalgamation of Seventies influences – ala Thin Lizzy, UFO and even KISS – it contains elements of folk music, too. It’s all freshly fluid and cohesive with magnificent guitar work, riffs and hooks both. Things roll along smoothly and with abundant strength with each song, one after the other.
From the sultry smooth, hard rock of ‘Back In The Saddle‘ to the amped up, energized riff-driven ‘One Shining Moment‘, things simmer with tasty rock goodness. Other songs like the title track, ‘Hills Have Eyes‘, ripple with folksy overtones and display some creative nuances (like the nicely pronounced whistling, for instance).
Then there is the magnificently melodic, happy-go-lucky vibe of ‘Goodbye Shalom‘ and ‘Bring It On‘. Both transmit a bit lighter fare in their content, but it is still electric enjoyment through and through.
The track list does contain one cover song, and I use the term “cover” rather halfheartedly, because it is such an incredible reinterpretation. I almost hate to reveal it here, but hell, here goes, because these guys’ version of the W.A.S.P. classic ‘LOVE Machine‘ is a stellar home run.
In closing, Märvel‘s ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ is an astounding, thrilling outing that we may as well enjoy as a new release. Word is the guys are currently at work on a new album for release later in 2017, but this record is a more than suitable holdover in my humble opinion.
For Fans Of: The Hellacopters, Imperial State Electric, and Gypsyhawk.