The Exploding Boy – “Alarms!” (Drakkar Records)
Gotta admit, I’d never heard of these guys despite “Alarms!” being the 5th album from these Swedes, but I’m really glad I checked it out because it’s amazing! Playing an incredible mix of post punk, indie, goth and – judging by their name – new wave as inspired by The Cure, their material across the board is nothing short of blindingly catchy and ever so cool. “Alarms!” will have you singing, dancing and grooving it right across its 11 tracks such is the composing brilliance behind it, not to mention the excellent musicianship that, whatever your age, will make you feel young (again). Skillfully employing a dual vocal, three guitar approach to full effect, you can expect an orgasmic mix of baritone and punk pop croons amid a glittering array of melodies, lush riffs and addictive rhythms – and that’s before the synths and 80s bass even begin to hit – oh wow, man! From the moving tones of ‘Sign O’ The Times’ about refugees fleeing Syria with its emotional energy from the band that they would not turn their heads away from the plight of these people to the slow bass of ‘Pointless Action’ that set the brooding atmosphere for the upcoming incredibly passionate melody, nothing could prepare me for the heart stopping slide guitar work followed by soaring lead solo! Now heading into euphoria, mentally I was barely holding out during the intensity of ‘Alarms In Silence’, with its apathy towards war statement, as clanging melodies colluded with poppy vocals driven by powerful guitars and that ever present bass to deliver emotional overload while ‘Run Red’ simply sent me over the edge as its soulful vocals and guitars peaked on a chorus to end all choruses. An utterly blinding release, I have never experienced so much joy in melancholy!