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Marvel: At The Sunshine Factory
Marvel - At The Sunshine Factory CD Album Review

Marvel: At The Sunshine Factory

Melodic Hard Rock

My recollection of my first introduction to Sweden's Marvel, 2011's Warhawks Of War, is not a memorable one. Here were three dudes dressed in various guises from an army pilot uniform with a peak hat to a formal tuxedo clothing and bowler hat. But the disturbing thing was that they all were wearing these black bird-like batman masks. What a trio of goofballs. Their music has to suck. I took a pass on Warhawks Of War. Fast forward to their latest and seventh album, At The Sunshine Factory, and not much has changed in their appearance or my lingering opinion. Nevertheless, casting aside past prejudices, I've decided to give At The Sunshine Factory a spin or two.

Marvel Band Photo


First, and honestly, I cannot not hear Marvel's music without the black bird man mask visual swimming in my mind. That's just creepy. Second, their music doesn't suck. Mostly Marvel plays melodic rock, often with a hard rock edge, brisk pace, bit punk vibe, and then with a power pop accessibility. The band is essentially a power trio moved first by brisk harmonious riffs, and then by an assertive rhythm section that delivers true power pop rock groove. The vocals are clean and bright, with guitarist John Steen's (aka The King) voice easily following the melody and harmony within the songs. Additionally, beyond his chords and riffage, Steen delivers an abundance of slick and pleasing solos.

And that pretty much summarizes Marvel, the band and their sound, and their latest album At The Sunshine Factory. That's to say, across the songs there's a pattern of familiarity. But some songs stand out as being more assertive, especially in the rampant groove and powerful guitar work. Such songs include Vinegar, Live & Learn, and the groovy riff monster Heart & Balls. Conversely, lighter groovy, almost Westcoast sounding, songs come with Child and Angela. Suffice to say, while I still find their black batman masks disturbing (even ridiculous), Marvel is proficient at delivering melodic rock with a power pop vibe. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Suffice to say, while I still find their black batman masks disturbing and ridiculous, Marvel is proficient at delivering melodic rock with a power pop vibe.

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