The Alarm’s Mike Peters recording ‘WAЯ’ in Crusader Studios (c) Jules Jones Peters 2021
Looking for that album, the one that will give you hope for a new normal around the corner, WAЯ from The Alarm is the Strength you need to see you through the coming months. Written and recorded in 50 days during lockdown, to be released on 26/02/21, the day after the birthday of lead singer Mike Peters, it’s been all go from the turn of the year.
WAЯ has everything you could imagine from The Alarm and lot’s more, opening with “Protect and Survive” with a build-up leading from Guitars, bass then drums before The Alarm frontman Mike Peters sings “whether you like it or Not”, foot tapping and nodding along, this captures you and opens the album perfectly. “We Got This”, introducing Keys and Harmonica bringing out a stadium / arena sound, great lyrics “Take a shot in the Arm”, “We got this and were all going to make it”, a song that gives hope, bringing the realisation that the light at the end of the tunnel is coming soon.
The album captures what is going on around the world today , bringing it all in together in one album “WAЯ”, “Tribes (Stop the War)” , remarkable song with powerful use of the haunting harmonica throughout the song, a song that really shows the diversity of The Alarm’s music and how they approach their writing style. “Still Unsafe” brings out the more powerful aspect of The Alarm with rock ballad and emotional lyrics.
“Crush” opens up with 70’s, 80’s rock riffs bringing solid power to the opening bars of the song before the powerful vocals from Mike Peters takes you on a journey through a rock n roll masterclass. Before ending with an eerie choir singing behind the main vocals. “Warriors” is the stand out track from the album, a powerful song, full of passion with lyrics like “There is no Enemy”, “As I Cover my Mouth” & “Peace is a Counter Attack”.
“Fail” A beautiful song with a catchy chorus will have you singing along from first listen. “Gods & Demons”, takes a slightly different direction musically, capturing and bringing you in as there is a lot more to the song than lyrics. It takes that second listen; this could well be the standout after you hear it a few times.
“Safe from Harm” featuring Benji Webbe (Skindred) covering the Massive Attack classic, this version could possibly be a single from the album, it has everything from the catchy chorus to the brilliant harmonies from both Mike Peters & Benji Webbe. It has a real American feel, singing and rapping the capturing lyrics “If you hurt What’s Mine” & “If you can free the World and Free My Mind”, it is a song you can see being played live and the audience singing back. The way life is at present it would have to be zoom until we come out of this lockdown.
The Album closes with “War (It’s Not over Yet), a powerful way to end the album with a story of the lockdown and how to survive. It captures what we might see as a bad dream in years to come, with the strong chorus, “Everything is upside down and out of Control”.
The Alarm and Mike Peters have captured the last 12 months in which we all lived in a masterpiece of an album, written and recorded in 50 days, capturing the emotion of the situation bringing passion back with its guidance through the lyrics. Putting this altogether you will have the spirit to fight on for the new normal and the strength to survive.
Reviewed by James Edmond