January 27, 2020

A name new to me but Märvel is a Swedish high-energy rock band and they seem to have a slightly warped view of the Universe and a definite liking for enjoying themselves. They have a very American vibe to them too which can probably be ascribing to soaking up far too much American culture when they all visited the US to spend a year on a high school exchange trip to Colorado. They have obviously used this time to hone their skills and there is much of Americana in their music and well as some good old British rock and roll.

Photo Credit: Bengt Persson (www.bengsterdesign.se)

Formed in 2002 and they describe themselves as a trio with five members with the trio being Ulrik Bodstedt on bass, Tony Samuelsson on drums and John Steen on guitar and vocals with the unit swelling to including touring members. Guilty Pleasures is Märvel’s eigth album and like the previous seven all show a band high on energy with something of an eclectic indie rock feel about them but also a little of the swagger and panache of UFO in full on rock mode. They have added to their image in the past by adopting different names and the use of superhero costumes and masks and these can be used as gimmicks to make up for musical deficiencies but this is not the case with Märvel. What you see is what you get, a hard working, very fun rock band that knows how to boogie with the best of them. John Steen has the usual impeccable English delivery that nearly all Swede’s have which he delivers with power and style and he is a pretty mean guitarist too. The album title is due to the fact that it is an album of covers that either the band likes or has influenced them and these have all been given the standard  Märvel treatment. Just listen to what they have done with The Sultans Of Swing and you will understand that these guys do it their own way and more power to them for them.

Guilty Pleasures is a great rock album, delivered in style and covers that are quite radically different from the original versions and so they should be a congratulated for their bravery.