The Alarm – Declaration (1984)

Welch early eighties rock phenomena discovered in an old record bin

Back in the eighties I listened alot to the Welch band The Alarm. Today, listening to their first full-length album was like a stroll down memory lane.

In January 1986 me and my sister took my car and drove down to Gothenburg and saw them live at Konserhuset. I remember I had the flu but we didn’t want to miss the concert and it was great! I was on my last legs on the two hours drive back home in the middle of the night, but the adrenaline from the show kept me upright.

The band started out, as many did back then, as a punk rock band. I do not like pure punk rock, but I like alot of the bands that developed from that scene. The Alarm and more well known acts like The Cure and Simple Minds.

Another thing I remember from back then is the frustrating thing with the fifth track of the second side of the album! The song “The stand” was a live favourite and a great song. It was released in its full length on their debut EP the year before, but here we only got a teaser of one minute, like fading in and fading out right away. I was so frustrated! Not cool guys.

Anyway, some of the songs are still quite alright. At this 2020 listenings ession of the album I liked “Sixty eight guns” the most. As far as I remember it was not the best song 35 years ago! The song “Where were you hiding when the storm broke?” was the most well known song on the album, and it’s still enjoyable, but my pulse didn’t increase.

On the second side of the record we have the unfamous short teaser of “The stand” but there may be something else that’s fun? The first track “Shout to the devil” is rather engaging, don’t you think? “Blaze of glory” is too pompous, and it gives a sign of the direction they were going into, and that would be the boring path, as some of these bands did. Was it the “big brothers” in U2 that led the way on the path towards boring? Big stadium rock of “important” music. When they were heading towards the middle of the road I went to the ditch, looking for Neil and other outsiders.

“The deciver” was a single and it is also one of the fresher songs on the album today. It is a great song to hum along to. The last song “Howling wind” is also righteous, it’s heavy.

It was fun to listen to this album today. I have literally not heard it since the eighties. It was a strange feeling. But in the end, this will not be a awakening for me. I don’t think I will re-discover the band. Except for another nostalgic trip via a recently released live album from 1985. But that is another review competely.


My rating: 5/10

Side A:

  1. Declaration
  2. Marching on
  3. Where were you hiding when the storm broke?
  4. Third light
  5. Sixty eight guns
  6. We are the light

Side B:

  1. Shout to the devil
  2. Blaze of glory
  3. Tell me
  4. The deceiver
  5. The stand (Prohpecy)
  6. Howling wind

Best songs: “Sixty eight guns”, “Shout to the devil” and “The deceiver”.

Released on February 20th, 1984

Media: LP, 1984, Holland

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