To describe The Alarm’s latest as “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” is cruel. It is, however, overflowing with rowdy passion and vague proclamations. The former’s understandable: Mike Peters has twice battled cancer.
Still, one hopes for greater truths than Prisoners’ “If I was a bird/ I would fly/ In the sky/ So high”, especially when the song addresses radiation therapy. Elsewhere, Peters proves adept at medical metaphors, whether Blood Red Viral Black’s “Always under attack” – perhaps from guest Billy Duffy’s guitar theatrics – or on The White Count.
Bono also appears to offer inspiration, with Peters huffing and puffing amid Brighter Than The Sun’s tumbling drums and the Psalm uncannily resembling Where The Streets Have No Name.