The Alarm release WAЯ – an album written, recorded and released in 50 days between January 6th and February 26th 2021.
Release date: 26th February 2021
Format: DL / CD / vinyl
Literally hot off the press. The writing and recording creative process beginning on 7th January 2021, the idea that we experience the gestation and production, involved at various stages, is a unique one. Special times and special measures, and this is 2021.
Mike Peters, along with band members James Stevenson (guitars) and Smiley (drums) The Alarm & producer George Williams, have bene writing and recording an album from scratch using their own isolation studios. Mike’s wife, Jules Jones Peters has been documenting the recording process and creating a very incisive fly-on-the-wall vision of Mike Peters and The Alarm at work, sharing regular videos online at the band’s website.
It’s a long way from the big-haired flag flying of the Eighties when they were up with U2 and Simple Minds as a new generation and their road has been far from a smooth one. However, it’s a journey where Mike Peters has worked his socks off, staying true to a cause. The result is an album born from the DIY punk tradition and shows The Alarm still as spikey and vibrant as ever.
Released on Mike Peters’ birthday – belated greetings… – lest there be any confusion, the album is ‘War’ although the letter reversal fits nicely with the raw nature of it’s whole creation. To confirm that, Protect And Survive is a steely opening. A barrage of industrial noise, not dissimilar to arriving at Zoo Station. Yes, its raw and very live cum lo-fi presence will appeal and rouse the spirit of ’76 (or ’85) and hoists the flag for the ten-song set. Inevitably there’s a lyric that from the very off, is full of topical references.
A hint of The Who and some Townsendesque defiance crops up on We Got This, as we shift into a cool little bass-led groove Tribes (Stop The War) and the declaration “democracy’s the only way we shall overcome.” Aside from the Townsend reference, Ian Hunter comes to mind with the delivery on the latter, while at times we move into the laconic territory inhabited by Richard Ashcroft.
Guitar heavy and heavy guitar anthems fly by, all accompanied by trademark Peters passion and commitment. “You can’t crush us all, We won’t be denied” he yells, enraged by the stay safe from harm, but lock yourselves down dichotomy. Warriors might be a distant cousin of All Along The Watchtower; a vision of a dystopian/apocalyptic landscape. Packed with warnings and handy little tips from Chairman Peters – “don’t let yourself be fooled by your Gods and your demons” – it’s perhaps no surprise that The Alarm has earned a reputation for fist-pumping defiance.
Welsh compadre, Benji Webbe from Skindred, adds some menace to a cover of Massive Attack’s Safe From Harm and along with the dramatic dynamics of the title track, makes an intense pairing to close the album. It comes as a reminder that this isn’t a bad point at which to (re)discover The Alarm. Embrace the new rule of engagement. The Alarm. Warriors for our times.
The Alarm – ‘WAЯ’ is available to order exclusively via www.thealarm.com
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