Welcome return to form from Philadelphian roots rockers

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Marah – 20,000 Streets Under The Sky

Four years ago Marah earned an Uncut Album Of The Month accolade for Kids In Philly. Then came the leaden heavy rock of 2002’s Float Away With The Friday Night Gods, on which they made an ill-advised bid for Kings Of Leon territory. The good news is that 20,000 Streets Under The Sky represents a substantial return to form, mainly because it finds brothers Serge and Dave Bielanko going back to their original influences with un-self-conscious pride. The fingerprints of Springsteen (who invited them to play with him last year) are all over songs such as “East” and “Freedom Park”. “Feather Boa” sounds like vintage Replacements, whose “Can’t Hardly Wait” is a highlight of Marah’s live show. And so it goes on. Not a record to rewrite the history of rock’n’roll. But one with enough energy, yearning and exhilaration to restore your faith in it.