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Angels Of Destruction

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Jan. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cadiz
  • ASIN: B000VXLA3M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,696 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Brothers Serge and David Bielanko are the songwriting heart of Marah and over their last few albums have amazed and delighted fans and critics alike with their spellbinding gifts. On Angels Of Destruction they've distilled enough material for a triple album into one ferociously powerful statement that will captivate current followers and win over new converts alike.

BBC Review

Marah are heirs apparent to Bruce Springsteen, or so Nick Hornby and Steven King would have it. That, at least, is what we are continuously told in article upon article about them. This will mean nothing to you if, like many, The Boss is one of those artists you've swerved lest you grow to like him. But maybe this will convince you that you're finally into your Springsteen years.

Marah stick solidly to the rules to deliver, as Hornby puts it, "straight ahead rock", but within that niche they are sonically adventurous. Not in an Arcade Fire or Killers way. It is too joyous, and there is little knowing posturing or bombast. But there is a bit of the 'kitchen sink' approach to the production. Harmonicas wail in from a distance, bells jingle out back, horns blast, and an accordion joins the fray. But this overloaded feel quickly wears off and the layering just gives it depth.

They're seven albums into their career and you can tell. There's rust and fire in lead singer David Bielanko's voice and the diversity of a band confident in their exploration of rock's many aspects. There's something redolent of Ziggy Stardust in the urgency of the excellent Old Time Tickin' Away; Angels On A Passing Train has chorus that is pure Elvis Costello; and if you liked Electricity by Spiritualised but thought Jason Pierce a bit miserable then Wild West Love Song is for you. On Jesus In The Temple Bielanko pulls off an accurate impression of Devendra Banhart, but don't let that put you off. The lovely Songbirdz shows a lighter touch and could have been penned by Edie Brickell or Eels.

There are a few bum notes: Despite its noble sentiment the title track is a bit too Travelling Wilburys and Blue But Cool is hackneyed. The best, however, is saved until last. Wilderness is a stomper that The Stones themselves might have produced in their heyday, and has you wondering if that really is a bag pipe wheezing away in the background right up to the point when they all Ceilidh out the back door. It's as if post-modernism or punk never happened. But I guess that's the spirit of Bruce to a t. --James Young

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David J. Kelly VINE VOICE on 10 Feb. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Marah are rock traditionalists who have had The Boss guest on a previous album. This is their latest release and finds them expanding and refreshing their sound. The music is playful with smart lyrics and some great choruses. It sometimes fells as if they've thrown everything in, except for the kitchen sink, there's even bagpipes. Some of the songs use religious imagery (Jesus In The Temple, Wilderness) or are road songs (Songbirdz) but they all rock. None of the songs outstay their welcome and the album is just the right length.It took a few listens but this album is probably the most played on my I-pod at the moment. My CD contained a bonus track called Tippecanoe County Correctional Theme Park Blues.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
can't take it with you... 15 Jan. 2008
By P. Opus - Published on
Format: Audio CD
4.5 Stars

Marah's last album, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry, was the one that pulled me in. It sounded like a raw nerve all bundled up in a comforting (yet trashy) rootsy earnestness. The poetic descriptions of people and places felt familiar yet surreal, and at their best the stories unfolded like mini-novels with attention to detail and character development (take the cascading "The Dishwasher's Dream" as the perfect example). Yet above all else the sounds were appealing and accessible, the songs tight and melodic. Next to the emo-lite and pallid second-hand-post-punk-bin rip-offs that graced the airwaves when IYDLYC was released in 2005, the thing sounded like it had descended from rock n roll heaven straight into my hands. I could hardly get it out of my CD player for weeks after I bought it, and it remains one of the most listened-to albums in my collection to this day. Of course I went out and bought a few of their other albums right afterwards, and while each pulled its own weight none quite compared to IYDLYC.

The problem of course with setting the bar so high is this: from then on, everything you do will be held to a higher standard. I've found that true in many areas of life and all the more so here.

Angels is one of the few new releases I have ever bought with no real attention to the press the album was getting. Usually I'm a wary consumer, I want to know what others think before I invest. Call me flawed, fallible (who isn't?) but there's only so much to go around. I mean money, time, love, etc. If you don't see it now eventually you will.

I don't regret the decision. And if this were anybody else's album, if it didn't have such an incredibly tough act to follow, this would get 5 stars easily. But it's Marah, and IYDLYC got deep under my skin. So of course I wanted at the very least IYDLYC Part II or (could it be?) Marah kicking it up even one notch further. This album didn't feel that way. This is the band settling back into maturity (a loaded term I know) and discovering its status as a career band. And that's not a bad thing! What they've created is an album that I'd describe as something of a "grower" rather than as the sonic equivalent of ripping a band-aid off your arm (that is actually the best way to describe IYDLYC - if that sounds appealing - and it should! - go grab that one already!).

Angels is denser, more layered than its predecessor. It boasts a fuller sound (I heard horns and an accordian zoom by as I listened through) and sharper production values. It maintains most of the roughness of its predecessor but just rounds some of the edges off. It also adds in some interesting sonic detours like what sounds to be Russian folk (??) in places. That part works. I suppose the area that could use a bit of work here is the songwriting - the lyrics have become more impressionistic and in some cases a bit oblique, and the songs more monolithic in sound. There are no heart-rendingly wistful ballads the likes of "Walt Whitman Bridge" here, nothing quite so stark and moving. The stories the band spins are not as clear-cut and memorable as they have been in the past. The vocals are also drowned out a bit by the volume of instruments brought into play here. Again not a bad thing per se, but it did detract slightly from the whole experience.

I almost feel a bit ashamed at the above paragraph though because in many ways Angels is still an embarassment of riches. "Angles On A Passing Train," "Angels Of Destruction" (note a theme here?) and "Santos De Madera" all fit nicely with the band's prior work, and "Wilderness" points in new directions with a bit of a jammy-almost-proggy feel. "Can't Take It With You" reminds me a bit of the wistfulness they have been capable of conjuring in their previous work, as does "Songbirdz" to a significant degree. I found myself singing along to "Blue But Cool" almost right away, mumbling lyrics I did not yet know. That's a good sign if there ever was one.

There's nothing wrong with a grower, and in fact sometimes it's the albums that take a bit longer for me to bond with that stay with me more permanently. In other words it's a relationship that takes work but proves worthwhile. That is what I fully suspect will happen here. I suppose I just miss some of the immediacy which I was so used to with this band.

One final note - unfortunately in these times, you don't get rich making music like this. Marah is committed to creating timeless American music and deserves your support. Whichever album of theirs you start with (except Float Away with the Friday Night Gods - a sharp detour from all that was/is good about this band, one that was fortunately never repeated!) I hope you'll give them a listen and believe.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sweetness. 23 Jan. 2008
By Media Hut - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Marah since they released "Let's Cut The Crap and Hook Up Later on Tonight" and Angels is just another one of their absolutely wonderful albums. How this band hasn't attracted more attention is beyond me.

My favorite Marah albums: Angels of Destruction, Let's Cut The Crap and Hook Up Later on Tonight, Kids In Philly and If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry.

Everyone of the above albums should be in everyone's music library.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Compulsively listenable 11 Aug. 2008
By Jersey Kid - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD without having ever heard a note from the band - in fact, I had never even heard of them - based solely upon the fact Nick Hornby ('High Fidelity' / 'About A Boy' / 'Fever Pitch') sang their praises. I've used this approach before with - to say the least - varied results; I still do not see the transcendence of The Monks.

I did a quick Wikipedia check while waiting for the didn't encourage me. The group has experienced continuous personnel changes around a core of two and also seemed to have carried out stylistic shifts. In short, I was prepared for disappointment. Instead, I was more than pleasantly surprised as I listened to a selection of varied music that reminded me of Williamsburg/Brooklyn performers like Tris McCall (from Jersey to be sure, but still of the oevre) and The Consultants; Todd Rungren/Runt; 80s Springsteen, The Hooters and - perhaps the biggest surprise for me - Dylan when performing with the Grateful Dead.

And, this is not to say that this diversity, this richness of style and poetmtial is bad. To say the band's material is bad because it was varied is like saying 'The Beatles - Live at the BBC' indicates they were weak or poor performers becas7ue they could and did perform literally everything!

But, it was the lyricism that got me more than any melody. The folks who run this entity know who rhwy are and what they want to say. And, they do it with equal measures of heart-on-the-sleeve and weary cynicism.

The next step for me...buying IYDLYC.
Esquire 27 July 2008
By Roy B. Harmon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Esquire this year voted them"Best Bar Band in the US" I had 1 cd now I have all. Get this and the others
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Shepherdnight - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Lo han hecho otra vez. Marah son más grandes que la vida. Y no te pierdas la experiencia Marah en directo!!!!
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