12:09 PM 24th February 2021
The Alarm Rediscover The Hunger On New Album - War
Mike Peters recording the new album - photo Jules Jones Peters
You might have thought that Mike Peters, main man in The Alarm would have lost his hunger after fronting the Welsh band over the last 35 years plus - far from it on this surprise new album. The songwriter has lived through enough personal upsets over the years to let something like Covid 19 get him down.
Recorded, written and mastered in 50 days with the process only starting at the beginning of January this year, Peters and the band have come up with a selection of songs that lyrically deal with what we have all witnessed over the last 12 months from Covid to the storming of Washington by Trump’s supporters.
With Peters always being a fan of The Clash, if the enigmatic band had still been together in 2021 chances are they would sound something like this.
“Whether you like it or not, the world has changed forever” cries out Peters on the opening line of 'Protect and Survive', the first track on the album. Like the majority of the album it needs to be played loud. Just when you were beginning to think who was going to record an album to document the living history we have endured, The Alarm come along - and as always, keep the faith.
'Tribes (Stop The War)'> is the type of song U2 should be recording these days as Peters observes “Capitol Hill is occupied, flags are upside down” on a track that combines The Rolling Stones’ 'Sympathy For The Devil' with plenty of social comment to boot.
Crush carries on with the optimistic vibe running throughout the album as Peters gives out a rallying cry to the tribes “you can’t crush us all” he sings. From anyone else it might sound trite but when it is sung over a rousing melody with Peter’s conviction it is hard not to resist.
Warriors even has a techno section towards the end of the song showing that the band are not afraid to delve into new genres, ditto the ska rhythm on 'Fail', “there’s always someone waiting for you to fail” sings the underdog on this joyous number.
Fellow Welshman Benji Webbe from the band Skindred turns up on a cover of the Massive Attack track, 'Safe From Harm', it sounds not as dark as the original version as Webbe adds a menacing touch.
All that is left is the final track 'War (It’s Not Over Yet)' as the song observes the battle against the virus is not over yet - or against any other struggle either. Hopefully in England at least come 21st June we all might have our freedom back again.
With the album being released on 25th February ( Mike Peter’s birthday) he might be another year older but the spirit of ‘76 is as strong as ever with this album of strength, solidarity and survival.
I rate the album 4 out of 5.