Generally I won’t review reissues or remasters because generally, there’s nothing new on offer except perhaps better mixing and production. However, sometimes you’ve got to make the exception and it’s a worthwhile foray in the case of Märvel’s The Hills Have Eyes.
Evoking sounds of the 70s, the muscular hard rock on offer from the three-piece is almost like a time capsule with the most noticeable influence being Thin Lizzy. However, there’s the melodic of Kiss alongside singalong moments and closing song “Bring it On” evokes similarities to Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Maker” with its honky tonk plonking rhythm.
Meanwhile, there’s a cover of WASP’s “L.O.V.E Machine” had it been recorded ten years previously. And to be honest, it sounds better than the original does in a live setting nowadays. Given its chunky makeover, it’s the perfect example of how to do a cover: stay true to the original whilst putting your own spin on it.
Alongside that, you have John Steen’s vocals and Ulrik Bodstedt’s bass work combining to make that unmistakable Thin Lizzy-esque sound between the romping “Back in the Saddle” and the more bouncy “Hills Have Eyes”. Hell, the former’s lyrics sound much akin to Aerosmith’s song of the same name meanwhile the latter reminds me of seeing The Gloria Story’s acoustic performance with The Quireboys last year.
Then there’s the pounding “One Shining Moment”, galloping to the finish, the song as fleeting as the subject matter. Again, sounding like Kiss but much more in their heavier moments, Steen’s vocals take on a more Paul Stanley quality to them alongside the funky bass lines.
The Hills Have Eyes is a great window into the world of Märvel and doesn’t overstay its welcome. An inspired cover song, a great blend of an old school sound more bands should be tapping into, performed by three excellent musicians and you’ve got an EP worth listening to time after time.
The Hills Have Eyes is out now