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MARS ELECTRIC ‘Fame Among The Vulgar’ Artenzia ATZ02018 (2003)

The band released their debut on John Kalodner’s now defunct Portrait label back in 2000. The follow-up maintains the same line-up of Jacob Bunton (vocals/guitar/violin), Matt Finn (drums/vocals), Carl Ray Hooper (bass/vocals) and Chris Simmons (guitar/vocals). Mars Electric play highly charged rock with a dash of punk attitude, think the best bits of Bowling For Soup/Sum 4 mixed with Enuff Z Nuff and a little of the Wildhearts catchy choruses. Opener ‘Bemused’ sets the stall out nicely - fast riffs, catchy hooks plus a bizarre sounding violin outro. ‘Disco King’ is a very radio friendly three-minute pop rocker.

The band also carry off slower numbers with ease such as ‘Descend’, complete with soulful vocals from Jacob Bunton. ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ is a great slice of melodic rock with soaring vocals, the sort of tune to be found on Tal Bachman’s debut album. ‘I’m Not Dreaming’ rounds it all off in style containing a neat guitar solo over mid tempo backing. Another song ripe for airplay.

Often billed as ‘nu breed’ of melodic rock (everyone loves a label!?) I’d just call it an album full of damn fine melodies! Certainly a CD worth checking out - and Atenzia do it again, following on form Brian McDonald, the Rembrandts and 40 Ft Rhingo.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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