The indie debut of Seattle's Lemons has a refreshingly post-grunge sound that harks back to the '80s heyday of bands like the Descendents and All, who leavened their punk aggression with a playful, poppy edge and played everything as if the entire band was jacked on espresso. Lead singer Jimmy Paulson delivers guitarist Greg Lovell's songs with just the right balance of humor and heat, and the band's influences -- which clearly include tongue-in-cheek '70s power poppers like Kiss and Cheap Trick alongside the requisite SST Records bands -- never become so obvious that the record sounds like a punk rock jukebox. On the downside, Al Sieg's flat, monochromatic production does the songs few favors; on an album where the prevailing ethos is "faster and louder," a little effort to differentiate the songs is always a welcome thing. That said, the clever "Circle K Girl" and the New York Dolls-like glitter thrash of "All I Got" and "Keep Diggin'" are pure punk-pop gems, and even the weaker tracks are more forgettable than actively bad. Marvel is nothing earth-shattering, but there were far worse albums coming out of Seattle seemingly every day in the early '90s.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason