Rising from the wreckage of the fantastic Dananananaykroyd, like a Scottish phoenix (a red kite?) come Alarm Bells.
It’s easy to draw comparisons to Dananananaykroyd as they sound very similar. Alarm bells however sound a little more mature and progressive than the aforementioned. For example “Whitemare”, the first track on this 12” EP is thirteen minutes long and takes up the whole of side A. It’s a sprawling, drawn out marathon that could easily be 3 or 4 separate tracks. It has almost Godspeed “movements” (sounds nothing like Godspeed though) but doesn’t lose any impact for being one long song.
Dana put themselves in the self proclaimed “Fight pop” genre and Alarm Bells take this baton and run with it.
The mammoth opener starts with a comedy bong of a gong and we’re soon into the music proper. Lyric delivery is unique, not really sang but not really talked, it’s in between and in parts you can make out a Scottish accent, which I always like.
The song weaves and winds and is upbeat throughout. Half way through there is an audible change with some jittery synth stuff going on, this nicely splits the song in two. The second half starts with a slower pace, just a simple riff and drums, before building into something bigger and better, but again this little section could be a song on its own.
The last four minutes have a more usual song structure to them, this last part is probably my favourite “movement” on this song. It ends with a looped vocal in the background as the synth pops back up with some computer like gaggle.
Side B starts with “Speeding Ticket” and we’re back to shorter song lengths. Three tracks take up side B.
“Speeding Ticket” is a fantastic little song, we have synth, lovely (and sometimes classic) guitar work and Alarm bells signature (already!!!) vocal punch, it all comes together really well on this track and it has a hard hitting element when everything hits at the same time.
“Cycles” is next, and it starts with just over a minute of electronic feedback and other noises. This leads into the song proper. Again it’s a more structured song with a nice little riff, the synth works really well in all these songs and I’m not usually a fan. It adds a bit of depth and makes the whole package sound more wholesome.
The closer on this EP is “Cocoons”. This starts with some electronically manipulated lyrics, which I’ve never been a fan of, I don’t know what it is about them but I’d just prefer to hear unaltered vocals, it’s not for long here so I can let them off.
This songs has a fast loud section followed by a slower one that tails off to just a guitar drums and the electronic vocals again before launching back into the last 2 minutes of the track which are rather excellent. It builds up into a fantastic abrupt finish. Lyrics on this such as “Knock Knock, Delivery Man” are very memorable and you’ll soon be signing this bit.
Overall this is an excellent start from Alarm Bells, I’m going to store this under the” Indie post hardcore pop” section, or something along that line.
There is definitely going to be a Part Two as well! Which you would expect with a name like “Part One”, I’m excited to hear what the second part will sound like. All the money made from the sale of part one goes towards part two, so you have no excuse!
Buy the record (limited to 300) and listen here: http://alarmbells.bandcamp.com/
Alarm Bells are also going out on tour in March, if they are half as entertaining as Dana were then you need to see these if they play near you!
15 JT Soar, Nottingham (all ages / BYOB)
16 Old Blue Last, London (w/ Fatherson, Yo’True (ex Tubelord/Encyclopedia))
17 Cluny 2, Newcastle
21 Stereo, Glasgow
22 Fresh Air Festival, Edinburgh
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