The Alarm’s first full-length, Declaration was first released in 1984. It stands as sort of the novel to which their 1983 self-titled EP was the prologue. A couple of the songs on the one, namely “Marching On” and “The Stand” are repeated in different versions here, and the overall character they were trying to play, of Welsh troubadours on a mission in the Old West is still here.
A cautionary word, I guess. When you’re looking to look back on where you were years ago, be careful before you decide to spend a day listening to an entire band’s catalog. With some bands, this is great, Celebration. Other bands are The Alarm. I was fan of theirs. Their records helped me through high school. One day last summer, I was working from home, and decided to listen straight through. By the time I got part way through this album, and remember, it was their first, I had enough, and declared (huzzah) it unlistenable.
Still, I gave a try this time around; a deal’s a deal. Surprise! I really liked it, but I’d set the bar very low. I was impressed both with how good it turned out to be, but also how willing to let by-gones be by-gones for an old friend. I was a big Alarm fan decades ago, but we’d grown apart. Eh… I don’t really know what to say about this one. I liked listening to it again, but I have a hard time seeing myself pulling it off the shelf again. It’s aged poorly, in that silly, sad, over-eager and self-important way that many things from the 80s have. Still, all these years later, I want to stand on the roof and cheer along with whatever it is “68 Guns” (or is it “Sixty-Eight Guns?” The story was never clear) is imploring us to go along with, or turn our backs on.