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The Alarm Mmvi - Under Attack

The Alarm, Under Attack

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE Alarm Mmvi is a 2006 incarnation of a band whose history goes back to 1978 when they started life in Rhyl, North Wales, under the name Seventeen.

They then changed their name to Alarm Alarm, before finally settling on The Alarm when they heard John Peel describe them as “another two-name band” (like Duran Duran or Talk Talk).

In 1983 and 1984, while signed to IRS, their album Declaration spawned the hits 68 Guns and Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke and was successful enough to spawn another four albums followed before the original line-up split in 1991.

Mike Peters then pursued solo projects for some time and briefly re-formed the band, but the present line-up is of four years’ standing and boasts an impressive pedigree. Anyone who remembers their Poppyfields hit might know what to expect – punchy rock tracks that are both melodic, vibrant and delivered with the same sort of relish of a band half their age.

Their style flits between indie-rock, stadium rock and punk rock making Under Attack something of a rollercoaster ride for anyone who gets on board.

In tracks like Cease and Desist, the raucous punk is prone to favourable comparisons with The Clash, while there’s something decidedly Cult like surrounding old-school rockers such as Raindown. Zero, meanwhile, hits the heady heights of Bon Jovi in their heyday, with vocals that are staggeringly similar during the chorus.

Throughout, the tracks are enlivned by the wall of sound guitars that succeed in delivering some monster riffs that should stand them in good stead for the inevitable live shows.

Lyrically, there is even an element of hope, with Zero proclaiming that ‘everybody is something, someone, somewhere’.

The Alarm Mmvi is at its best when adopting the U2 style of the Joshua Tree era and two of the albums best tracks prompt such comparisons. Be Still, especially, is a gutsy rocker, while This Is Life Get Used To It is as bolshy and hard-hitting as the name suggests.

Under Attack was produced by the band, along with Martin Wilding (Poppy Fields/Doves) and George Williams (Babyshambles), with additional mixes by Pete Walsh (Simple Minds/Scott Walker). The impressive production values are fully realised throughout.

Fans of expansive, passionate rock won’t be disappointed.

Track listing:

  1. Superchannel
  2. Without A Fight
  3. My Town
  4. Raindown
  5. It’s Alright/It’s OK
  6. Be Still
  7. This Is Life (Get Used To It)
  8. Cease And Desist
  9. Zero
  10. Something’s Got To Give
  11. I Never Left I Only Went Away
  12. Few And Far Between
  13. This Is The Way We Are