634457207325
20000 Streets Under The Sky

Details

Format: CD
Label: YEP ROC RECORDS
Catalog: 2073
Rel. Date: 06/29/2004
UPC: 634457207325

20000 Streets Under The Sky
Artist: Marah
Format: CD
New: Not in stock
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Reviews:

Marah's Philadelphia is a scarier place than Bruce Springsteen's Asbury Park. Sure, some of those Jersey shore gangsters probably carried knives, but hardly anyone got cut-let alone shot, blown up by cops, or wrongfully condemned to death. The Boss's sleepy seaside town was almost not ghostly enough to populate his early sonic novellas; he looked elsewhere to fill in the blanks. (Exhibit A: "Spirit in the Night'"s Crazy Janey, appropriated from William Butler Yeats.) The same holds true for Marah core Dave and Serge Bielanko, whose South Philly roots fall just short of providing sufficient lyrical nourishment on the richly neo-Springsteenian 20,000 Streets Under the Sky, the duo's third release and first on Yep Rock. Granted, only one track ventures beyond the City of Brotherly Homicide: "Body"-the ballad of a drug deal gone bad as told by its newly-created ghost-is set in the Bronx. But murder is murder, no matter where you find it; the change of venue doesn't make the song's climax ring any less true: "And Vincent paused with his back to my face/ And that's when I heard the stones grind behind me/ You don't need eyes on the back of your head/ To tell you when you're done out loud." Hell, with its lush, Bittanesque piano, plaintive violin, and background vocals that marry the Ronnettes with Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, "Body"-like the rest of 20,000 Streets-would succeed if you put it in Poughkeepsie. "Marah's Philadelphia is a scarier place than Bruce Springsteen's Asbury Park. Sure, some of those Jersey shore gangsters probably carried knives, but hardly anyone got cut-let alone shot, blown up by cops, or wrongfully condemned to death. The Boss's sleepy seaside town was almost not ghostly enough to populate his early sonic novellas; he looked elsewhere to fill in the blanks. (Exhibit A: "Spirit in the Night'"s Crazy Janey, appropriated from William Butler Yeats.) The same holds true for Marah core Dave and Serge Bielanko, whose South Philly roots fall just short of providing sufficient lyrical nourishment on the richly neo-Springsteenian 20,000 Streets Under the Sky, the duo's third release and first on Yep Rock. Granted, only one track ventures beyond the City of Brotherly Homicide: "Body"-the ballad of a drug deal gone bad as told by its newly-created ghost-is set in the Bronx. But murder is murder, no matter where you find it; the change of venue doesn't make the song's climax ring any less true: "And Vincent paused with his back to my face/ And that's when I heard the stones grind behind me/ You don't need eyes on the back of your head/ To tell you when you're done out loud." Hell, with its lush, Bittanesque piano, plaintive violin, and background vocals that marry the Ronnettes with Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, "Body"-like the rest of 20,000 Streets-would succeed if you put it in Poughkeepsie."