Review: Standards

This ambitiously titled best of selection provides a shedful of reasons why The Alarm have failed to build upon their loyal cult audience in the UK. In a sweaty club or concert hall it is possible to surf along on the waves of euphoria generated by the group’s derivative lightweight rock anthems and the air-punching enthusiasm of their fans, but collected together on this LP, their recorded highlights sound worthy, yet portentous and punchless. Early hits like 68 Guns, Where Were You Hiding and Absolute Reality charge along merrily enough despite the obviously signalled reference points and the sometimes embarrassing lyrical lapses, but with the super-abundance of cliches on Spirit Of ’76 and the lamentably turgid A New South Wales, The Alarm slip dangerously towards self parody. Rain In The Summertime offers some respite with its atmospherically melodic hooks, but the LP bows out with a diabolically mawkish version of Happy Christmas (War Is Over) which does them absolutely no favours whatsoever. (2 stars)

Publication::Publication:Q Magazine
Author::Paul Davies