Music: The Alarm: Guerilla Tactics
Our Take

The Alarm has always been one of those bands who had a fairly large following going, but never achieved a level of mainstream popularity on par with that of their peers. But despite this, the group has managed to create a long running career for themselves since they formed in 1981 (although the lineup has changed quite a bit). And unlike some of the other long running acts out there, The Alarm has been releasing albums on a fairly regular basis. Following up on 2006’s Under Attack, the band has now released Guerilla Tactics which sees them reprising their up-tempo punk rock style and writing songs with an astonishing amount of energy. This isn’t your typical older rock band, and it definitely shows.

While we’ve seen plenty of long running rock bands mellow out over the years and lose some of the energy and style that made them stand out, this has yet to happen to The Alarm. They are still sporting the energetic punk rock and alternative rock riffs that fans have come to expect, though the ideas on Guerilla Tactics admittedly are stronger than usual. The Alarm still sports a very heavy The Clash influence, but there also some hints of traditional alternative rock and even reggae on a few of the songs. This gives the album quite a bit of variety as well, and the catchy hooks combined with the constant level of energy makes Guerilla Tactics very enjoyable.

Vocalist Mike Peters still sounds great, though on a few of the songs it does begin to sound as though he is slightly pushing the limitations of his voice. However, most listeners won’t even notice this as these moments are few and far between and they will still be impressed with how much passion Peters brings to the table. As some people may know, he has been battling cancer for a few years now and has used these events as inspiration for his song lyrics. This makes the album feel truly genuine and real, which is not something that can be said of every band these days. Plus, it helps that Peters has an entrancing melodic voice that listeners will absolutely love.

Guerilla Tactics is an impressive album from a band that has been fairly underrated throughout the years. The songs are catchy and there is enough variety in styles to keep listeners interested for the entire release, making this one of the better ones that The Alarm has put out in awhile. A bonus DVD is also included that has music videos of quite a few of the songs, and this makes the overall package a great one for fans and newcomers alike.
Chris Dahlberg

December 25, 2008