The !Alarma! Chronicles Volume II
Produced by Terry Taylor & Jerry Chamberlain
Rating: **** Recommended
This God-rock outfit always changed with the times, and these changes were wise decisions, as this set is one of the most interesting albums in the Christian rock category, all electro new wave, mixing studio trickery such as tape reversal with some basic old-school rock elements. This set is home to several cool and unique cuts.
The Talking Heads, Gary Numan, and Bowie appear to be influences, but the band delivers their own sound. From the influences showing on “Real Girls,” they go into a neo-rockabilly sound for “New Car,” the entire side quite entertaining.
Side two also offers some gems, and plenty of variety, going into 60s garage on “Autographs.” That song, “New Car,” and “I Didn’t Build it for Me” (as well as “Youth With a Machine”) flirt punk rock (relatively speaking considering this was Christian rock outfit), the first three apparently attacks at televangelists–in a time before the scandals involving Swaggart and Jim Baker.
While some of the material approaches the typical boredom of new wave, even those numbers are more interesting than the competition, and this has more than enough to make it a recommended listen for fans of new wave, perhaps even more than fans of God rock. In fact, you’d likely never know this is a Christian-themed album if you’re not familiar with this group.
This outfit is an essential part of the God-rock story, and this is perhaps their most interesting and enjoyable album.
(The band’s name alludes to the Bible. This was the second of four in the Alarma Chronicles.)