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Marah | Kids In Philly (E-Squared)
Formed in 1993 in Philadelphia, from where the second album by Marah takes its name and inspiration, the band are based around songwriting brothers Serge and Dave Bielanko. Courted by Steve Earle following their '98 debut Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight and now signed to his E-Squared label, Marah have been tipped for great things and with just cause. With influences ranging from the Replacements, the Faces, Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones, Philly soul and country, Marah's 'Kids In Philly' is an impassioned and irresistible homage to the band's home town, warts 'n' all. Their lyrical tales of the joys and frequent sorrows of living in an urban environment, often employing their fast-becoming trademark banjo-led sound, are dangerously addictive. It's obvious that the band had a great time making this record and their enthusiasm combined with some excellent songs make Kids In Philly an extremely rewarding album. Amongst many standouts are the lead track Faraway You featuring London's Hank Dogs on backing vocals, Point Breeze which owes a passing debt to The Jackson Five and Christian Street which features a great spoken intro by legendary Philadelphia DJ, Hy Lit. Hell that's just the first three tracks so you get the idea. You need this.

Geraint Jones
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000