MIGUEL AND THE LIVING DEAD - Alarm!!!
The singer who
died from fast living, and the musicians who sold their souls for the skill
to play, have returned from some place beyond our comprehension.
Brushing the coffin dirt from their coats, they have arrived to tell us what they have seen, and to bring a few of us back with them.
Miguel and the
Living Dead are one of the finer additions in the growing line of "coffin
rock" bands that are appearing, and if the rest have half of this Polish
band's energy, we could be seeing the start of something truly entertaining.
For too many years "goth rock" has meandered, having forgotten both its beginnings and destination. Albums like "Alarm!!!" are the rewind button, the reminder that the sources of death rock did not just emerge from Bauhaus and Joy Division. Surf, psychedelia, garage, and punk also were a part of its beginnings, which is something bands like The Damned, The Cramps, and the Misfits knew and portrayed.
"Graveyard Love Song" is the band in its finest form, and it's the track I have been using to get people into listening to the band. Track 5 is quite self-explanatory, as the line "The night of terror has begun" is repeated until you actually believe it.
"Sexy Velvet Shadow" is romance done the way the Birthday Party would have done if they had stayed around longer. "Train of the Dead" uses the old country technique of mirroring the sound of a locomotive, in the rhythm section, to emphasize the train metaphor.
"Alarm!!! (reprise)" is the instrumental of terror, with organ swells and horror film screams. It is like a Halloween sound effects tape set to music.
When the majority of albums you get today are made up of a few songs you might like, plus lots of filler, it's refreshing to listen to an album which is consistently engaging.
If that sort of thing interests you, pick up Alarm!!!. Having done that, get your top hat out, gas up the hearse, pick up Vincent Price at the mausoleum, and go where ever Miguel tells you.
Haakon Nelson, 28 Jul 2005