Märvel: Hadal Zone Express

An exuberantly silly highway to Hell.

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It’s hard to get more wonderfully dumb than a climactic couplet of ‘They say that sex and drugs and rock’n’roll will kill you till you end up dead/I just holler: I’ll be a dead rock’n’roller,’ but mischievous Märvel manage it by then throwing in a falsetto wail pilfered from Deep Purple’s Child In Time.

With this Swedish power trio (formed during a high school exchange year in Colorado in 2002), you’re never sure if they’re being deliberately funny like The Darkness or are unwittingly tripping over props. Still, if their base camp is big broad Nazareth-like riffs and shredding solos, they reveal a knack for nifty pop-punk hooks, prog detours and an infectious 70s sweetness.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.