(The following is inspired by the atomic testing photos on the b-side of the 7”.) In 1956, Howard Hughes produced a movie with John Wayne playing Genghis Kahn called The Conqueror. Huge-ass budget. Big-ass stars. Rich-ass dudes. Think of this movie as the major record industry, 2007. They had everything going for them, but the movie was a dismal, almost unwatchable failure run by people who believed they controlled the universe. The Marvelous Darlings are the antithesis of that. They’re a small band, hugely talented, that have fused power pop and glam seamlessly; this time reminiscent of the warm smolder of early Kinks. The Conqueror was filmed in St. George, Utah, downwind from another group of people who believed they controlled the universe: the United States government. The deleterious effects of Operation Upshot-Knothole’s above-ground nuclear testing would go on to infect a little under half the cast and crew of The Conqueror who contracted violent, aggressive forms of cancer via radioactive dust that fell all around them during the filming. (They also carted tons of the dirt back to the studio for close-ups.) So ask yourself this. You wanna give a second listen to the forms of mega powers that’ll kill you (large corporations, stupid large-stage bands, “officials”), or do you want to do your own diggin’ for audio gold in your own mine? Marvelous Darlings deserve your attention, as does Plastic Idol Records.
–todd (Plastic Idol, plasticidolrecords.com)