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Direct Action

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Album Review

The Alarm's first full-length album was, to a certain extent, a collection of the singles they had been releasing since October 1982: "Marching On," "The Stand," "Sixty Eight Guns" (number 17 U.K.), "Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?" (number 22 U.K.) and "The Deceiver" (number 51 U.K.). As such, it had a strident, immediate appeal that was also somewhat relentless: The Alarm seemed to play every song as if it was the climax of their set. In the short term, that excited listeners, however; Declaration was a number six hit in England and broke through to the Top 50 in the U.S. In retrospect, it's more smoke than fire.


Formed: 1981 in Rhyl, Wales

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With idealistic spirit, a powerhouse live show, and bigger than big hair, the Alarm were part of an early-'80s wave of bands (the Call, Big Country, and the Waterboys among them) who dealt in soaring anthems inspired by the righteous idealism of punk. Clearly influenced by the impassioned political fervor of the Clash, the Alarm also worked in a mostly acoustic, folk-punk vein that provided a counterpoint to their hard-driving guitar rockers. Their stage look was unquestionably a product of the '80s,...
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Direct Action, The Alarm
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