On MARS NEEDS GUITARS, the Hoodoo Gurus further pursue their eminently accessible brand of grungy, hook-laden power pop. While singer/songwriter Dave Faulkner can be heard here straying somewhat from the punk influence that characterizes much of the band's debut STONEAGE ROMEOS, the roots-rock flavor of cuts like the riff-driven "Bittersweet," the hillbilly bounce of "Hayride to Hell," and the wonderfully infectious twang of "Death Defying," offer new delights.
None of this is to say that the Gurus have lost their edge, however, as the surf-punk derived "Like Wow--Wipeout," and the thudding psychedelia of the title track aptly prove. Blistering guitar and harmonica leads from Brad Sheperd offer a textured balance to Faulkner's tightly constructed, highly melodic songcraft, and the powerful rhythm section of drummer Mark Kingsmill and bassist Clyde Bramley brings it all together. The combination of these elements--the musicians, the genre-splicing songwriting--makes MARS NEEDS GUITARS a fine document of the Hoodoo Gurus' appealing, high-energy pop.