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20,000 Streets Under the Sky, the fourth album from Philadelphia’s Marah, boasts a bevy of players, but the record really belongs to David and Serge Bielanko, brothers who no doubt had their biggest sibling squabbles over whose record collection was the coolest. Those disputes must have ended in a draw: Every song here is a co-write, and the disc adds up to one satisfying whole, a batch of ace tunes informed in equal (if unlikely) measure by the likes of John Hiatt, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, and the Ramones. And if on occasion the band also sounds a wee bit like the Hooters, well, it’s worth remembering that that Philly-based outfit was the backing band on Cyndi Lauper’s now-can-we-call-it-a-classic? She’s So Unusual. Highlights on a disc full of ’em include “Pigeon Heart,” a frenetically strummed bar-band special that opens with the sound of actual cooing, and “East,” the shuffling, flute-powered party-starter that sets the disc in motion. Elsewhere, “Soda” could be an outtake from Bruce’s “Badlands” days, and if the lyrics of “Body” are a tad overwritten (“Leather weather blew in from the East/On a high wind train with its tar top down”) at least the brothers Bielanko are trying for something like classic-rock poetry. When, I ask you, was the last time you heard that? It’s true that there’s not one hip thing about 20,000 Streets. But it’s still a damn fine record, an album custom-made for all you folks who like to listen to ’em from beginning to end—and for all you closeted Hooters fans.

—Shannon Zimmerman