Swaggering, yet passionate. Chaotic, yet charming. Opposites attract in the band Marah, as this Philadelphia foursome take an emphatic, erratic, poignant, and tension-filled ride through the dark and colorful streets of their hometown with their second album. Alt-country king Steve Earle was stunned by the band’s innovative debut, Let’s Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later Tonight, and turned over the keys to his Nashville recording kingdom, releasing Kids in Philly on his own label. Led by the Bielanko brothers (guitarist Serge and singer Dave), Marah turns Philly into a raucous, 21st-century echoing of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. The results (a roughshod entanglement of Pogues-style banjo, rock & roll mandolin, Memphis horns, and loud guitars) are remarkably original: imagine the Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me with Springsteen at the mic.

Record Label: