|The Alarm - 'Direct Action' (21st Century Records)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Saturday, 24 April 2010 05:00|
Right, I'll get the misconceptions out of the way first. 1) The Alarm are not a pound shop U2 - not now, not ever. 2) They're the wrapping on the chocolate bar otherwise known as The Clash. Uh, nope that is rubbish as well. 3) It's not really the Alarm because only the singer is still around from the original line up. Yeah whatever!
Right, glad that's out of the way. 'Direct Action' is the second full album culled from the fan club EP collection called 'Counter Attack Collective' following hot on the heels of last year's 'Guerilla Tactics'. What you get for your money is 14 songs on one CD then, open up the gatefold and you have a DVD with a video for 11 of the tracks plus a further two songs that aren't on the CD! You keeping up? Oh and if you download it there is a further bonus track only available as download but the least we say about that the better - surely it should be the other way around Mike? The bonus track on the CD version to get people out to buy the thing from an independent retailer, surely? Nah, we won't go there then, that's a whole new debate.
The album opens with 'Direct Action' - now some of this album was produced by the same guy who produced 'Guerilla Tactics', one Gilby Clarke - yes, he of Guns N' Roses and, in fairness, he did a good job on the production so to see some of the song left over from the recordings is good. 'Loaded' already being a live favourite for some time and seeing the best of James Stevenson's axe work, a splendid riff indeed. We have a mix of acoustic songs, electric songs, songs with big riffs, songs that build and also having the assistance of uber-cool keyboard player and former Lords Of The New Church member Mark Taylor, Steve Grantly on the drums - when he's not tub thumping for Stiff Little Fingers - and bass player Craig Adams, yeah he of The Mission and The Cult (a mightily awesome rhythm section they are too). In fact this version of The Alarm has been performing together longer than the original line-up anyway so all the purists need to get over it and move with the times.