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THE ALARM Guerilla Tactics
21st Century Recording Company (2008)

The Alarm

Mike Peters and the Alarm are back with possibly their hardest hitting album in many a year - less of the acoustic/reflective side of Mike Peters and the Alarm and more in your face spiky punk anthems with added rocka beats and some dub! Former G 'N' R guitarist Gilby Clarke handles production duties.

Peters has successfully battled leukaemia (CCL) and many lyrics on here reflect on his battle back to fitness. The mainly instrumental opener 'The Opening' starts the album off nicely with those trademark Alarm guitar chords. 'Three Sevens Clash' harks right back to early Alarm and has a glorious riff change midway through that harks back to 'The Opening'. Easily one of the best tunes to bear the band's name.

'Alarm Calling' keeps the adrenalin pumping whilst 'Rat Trap' has that reggae backbeat heard on many late 70's/early 80's New Wave artists. 'War Cry' is another rallying cry and allows Peters to whip out his harmonica. The band have really hit a groove as well as this is the third studio album to feature the same line-up with Peters being joined by Craig Adams (Sisters Of Mercy), Steve Grantley (Stiff Little Fingers) and James Stevenson.

Elsewhere there is much to enjoy like 'Run To The Hills' err ooops 'State Of Emergency' - sorry but the drum intro is a deadringer for that Maiden classic! The uplifting 'Love Hope And Strength' is the only real slow number on the album and that maybe the only sticking point for some fans the lack of the softer side of Peters and the Alarm that could be heard on previous albums, for example 'Raindown'.

This is one of the best albums by the band - stripped back and in your face just like the early years. Mike Peters and the band have done it again!


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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