The Exploding Boy - 'Alarms!' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 04, 2018    
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I can see this at the top of my list of albums of the year.

It's the 21st century and Rock is dead apparently, according to some anyway, but us discerning fans know differently; it's alive and well and The Exploding Boy are carving their niche in the Rock world with their blend of Dark Indie, Post Punk, Alternative Synth Pop/Rock. It's retro sounding but feels fresh and of the "now".

'Alarms!' is the fifth album from this Swedish sextet, formed in 2006 by Johann Sjoblom and Lars Andersson to give voice to their joint artistic vision, and they hope people will understand its political message. As the title suggests, it's in the plural, that the world today is going in the wrong direction and how can you look to the future with a positive attitude.

Opener 'Fireland (The End Of Dark City)' sets the lyrical tone and it's a track that appeared on their previous album, but this time it's too late, all that remains is a "farewell to the ones you love". Most of the songs could easily fit onto the playlists of mainstream daytime radio with their stirring rhythms and melodies, in particular 'Run Red', 'Stop Time' and 'O.H.M.Y.G.O.D.', and they have this danceability about them, definite floor-fillers in the Goth clubs.

The jewel in this shining crown for me is 'Pointless Action', anthemic is a description I don't use lightly, but think of Snow Patrol's 'Run' or 'Chasing Cars' and you get the idea. This song alone is meant to be heard in an arena setting with a lightshow to match, oh and just get a load of the guitar solo, it hits you right in the "feels".

'Sign O' The Times', for me, is the weakest song here on a musical level, but lyrically the strongest, dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis and how people think that you don't have the right to flee the horrors of war. Album closer, the nine minute long '11:59' predicts "so it's time now to meet the sundown" with the end of the world sounding truly epic.

If you grabbed a big melting pot and threw in a touch of Sisters Of Mercy, some Manic Street Preachers, a dab of The Killers, and a pinch of eighties Synth Pop, then you would be on your way to what The Exploding Boy have come up with on 'Alarms!' I can see this at the top of my list of albums of the year.

Cat O'Brien

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