YOU MUST’VE KNOWN – MODERN ALARMS
(Released digital format only – 28 May 2012)
I first became aware of Modern Alarms by chance. I’d turned up to watch another local band and promptly sat down with a drink in the “quiet area”. Not that it was quiet for very long as the hail of noise bellowing from the stage drew me like a moth to a candle and I went to investigate.
On stage were four likely lads by the name of Modern Alarms giving vent to a tight and professional performance that belied their slot as support. What struck me first was the raw energy of the group, it was almost tangible in the air and combined with the power of their songs I was hooked and all thoughts of an immediate second trip to the bar disappeared.
Now just over a year later, Modern Alarms have finally got into a studio and recorded three of their most solid tracks for an EP – You Must’ve Known. Only three but there’s quality not quantity here. First track Plight of Blighty starts with a relentless guitar riff which reminds me of early records of The Clash. Add in the vocals and some very pithy lyrics and you’ve got a catchy commentary on life in Britain today with a key change into the second half of the song which gives way to a guitar solo of some expertise. Second track, S.O.B., delights in showcasing the drumming skills of a more than competent drummer and although it’s over 30 seconds before the vocals kick in this is more than compensated for with a ferocious guitar/drum pairing. Vocally this is again a strong and confident delivery with the maturity of the lyrics beyond the fact that this is the first recording for the band. Voodoo Dancing Monkey Man is the final track and has become something of an anthem at live shows so it’s nice to see that the energy it carries on stage has been converted nicely into the recording. Allowing the bass riff to carry the tune is a master stroke as it allows the contrast of the vocals to shine.
In short this album is a very accomplished first offering from a band that are fast gathering a reputation for energetic and stylish gigs. This EP shows that their level of performance can be maintained in their studio recordings and that once inside your head their tracks are hard to escape. Some bands may be overly hyped but this is not one of them. Favourable comparisons have been made to the later Punk and New Wave bands of the late 1970s in terms of their fresh sound and on the basis of this EP I wouldn’t disagree. Big things are on the horizon for Modern Alarms and you would be foolish not to pay attention to their promising early work as signs of things to come.
You Must’ve Known by Modern Alarms is available on download only from iTunes and Amazon
This review will shortly also be appearing www.thegigreview.co.uk