Though it's nowhere near as confrontational or abrasive as his work with Suicide at the time, Martin Rev's self-titled 1979 solo album takes many of the elements of the group's sound and explores them individually: The crisp drum pattern and pretty, naïve synth melody in "Mari" sounds like an extrapolation of the proto-synth pop Rev and Alan Vega were working on at the time, while "Nineteen 86" features the insistent, sibilant drums and ominous drones that became Suicide trademarks. "Baby Oh Baby" could've easily appeared on one of the group's albums, though it's interesting to hear Rev's whispered, monotone delivery instead of Vega's alien-beatnik howl. But Marvel isn't just a Suicide album by another name; on many of the songs, Rev indulges his experimental leanings in different ways. "Temptation," the album's seven-minute centerpiece, mixes a wind chime-like melody and gusty synths into a hypnotic, though far from serene, meditation. "Jomo" and "Asia" mine similar territory, juxtaposing layers of synths and stiff percussion for a mechanical but still melodic feel. Overall, Marvel sounds like an enjoyable working holiday for Rev; it features lots of interesting ideas that aren't quite fully developed but are still well-worth hearing, especially for Suicide fans -- as long as they don't expect Suicide-caliber material.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares