The Twenty First Century Recording Company [Release date 29.06.18]
The Alarm return with their first new album since 2010′s ‘Direct Action’, although there was an album entitled ‘Blood Red’ which came out last year and features a few songs on the ‘Equals’ album.
Mike Peters and his wife Jules are the perfect example of inspiring people as both are in remission after cancer treatment and they have registered over 170,000 people to the International Bone Marrow Donor Registry. You could be forgiven thinking that with all this going on in their lives they would have little time for music. However they do, with an annual Alarm concert at the summit of Snowdonia and they are regularly on the road touring.
‘Equals’ starts of with a little electronic dance beat, yes that’s right dance beat, on ‘Two Rivers’. On top of this is the distinctive heartfelt vocals of Mike Peters and plenty of acoustic and electric guitar action, the latter supplied by James Stevenson (The Cult, Holy Holy).
In fact many of the songs on here use electronica to good effect such as on ‘Thirteen Dead Reindeer’ which sees again the dance beats combining well with the guitars and vocals. With some bands, going a bit modern like this often ends in failure and disgruntled fans, not so in the Alarm’s case as they add these to their established sound as opposed to other way round.
The Cult’s Billy Duffy guests and trades guitar licks with Peters and Stevenson on ‘Coming Backwards’, a beast of a tune. Mike Peters’ has plenty of issues to share with us including an uplifting ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Peace Now’, which borrows a line from Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’. ‘Neutral’ could apply to many of us fed up with being told to take sides or declare a political stance, rather we remain true to ourselves and remain neutral.
Mike Peters and The Alarm still have plenty to say and we’d do well to listen. Great to see them back and ‘Equals’ will keep fans satisfied for many weeks, months, and years to come. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)
Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
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