Review: Change Review (3 out of 4)

The album title tells it. The Alarm, once ardent sons of ’68 Guns’ have, in their time, hopped, skipped, and straddled most conceivable and accepted rock styles – falling in and out of favour as they’ve done so. If ‘Change” does transcend their solid base of appreciation, then it will almost certainly be helped by Mike Peters’ stark, homespun words streaked with apparent Welsh pride and tarnished emotion. “The valley is ripped and the mountain scarred/Torn apart/A house is ablaze on the hillside/A sign says ‘This land is not for sale'” (‘Hardland’) It would be inspiring and shyly brilliant if I wasn’t constantly struck by the cynical thought that these (un)reliable memoirs of a homeland were not just mere fodder to feign depth at the heart of an album. “The slack heap stares, it blocks out the sky/It keeps this Rhondda grey”(‘A New South Wales’) Where these grandiose aspirations will sit,show wise, next to something as humdrum as ‘Rain In The Summertime; remains to be seen. But until then, until that carnival rolls into town, I’ll keep a grip on my reservations and expectations, and watch for how high the dragon flies live. There could be trouble…

Author::Phil Wilding