Fans of this Philadelphia six-piece will undoubtedly hail Angels of Destruction! as its best album; it's certainly Marah's most accessible and expansive record to date. There's always been an honest theatricality and a colorful, imaginative flair running through Marah's musical stories, but Angels takes them to a new level entirely. The group's sixth album is forged on the back of front man David Bielanko's newfound sobriety, which he addresses on terrific tracks like the shambling, jazz-blues opener "Coughing Up Blood," the barroom brawler "Old Time Tickin' Away" and the bluegrass rag "Can't Take It With You," which sounds like an Appalachian brass band covering Kurt Weill. New members Kirk Henderson and Christine Smith add other dimensions to Marah's rootsy rock and soul, steering Springsteenian undertones toward the Band's dusty Americana territory. When it works, like on "Wild West Love Song" or the ambling gospel-folk of "Jesus in the Temple," the results are downright revelatory.
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