STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 173942-27740 LABEL: The Twenty First Century Recor FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2018-06-29
Reviewed by Ian Webber
After an eight year hiatus where both Mike Peters and his wife Jules have both had their own health challenges, these Welsh alt rockers returned in 2018 with this full length studio album. As you would expect, elements of raw acoustic rock are mixed throughout with storming anthemic guitars, but 'Equals' also includes a fair smattering of keys and electronic samples that are not the traditional fare of these rockers who cut their teeth on the edge of punk rock. Opening with the driving "Two Rivers", jangling guitars punctuate Mike's "whoa, whoa" calls. "Transatlantic" has a more stripped back acoustic feel that has a heart stirring '80s rock vibe which will draw comparisons with early U2, but the electronic phrases and keyboards add an extra dimension to this emotive and inspirational album. The biggest departure from their early days can be heard in "Thirteen Dead Reindeer" which at times verges on EDM but never quite loses its rock edge. It is not long however, before the catchy refrain of "Crowd Trouble" reflects elements that are the staple of this band with its more sing along gang style chorus. One particular standout is "Tomorrow" which you can currently hear on Cross Rhythms radio. Throughout the recording inspiring hope-filled lyrics come from a heartfelt position of life experience and are backed up by classy production. It is clear that the short sabbatical has done nothing to dull creativity as The Alarm have produced yet another solid album to add to their back catalogue.
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