The Alarma! Chronicles Volume Two
Produced By Terry Taylor, Jerry Chamberlain and
Thom Roy for Rebel Base Productions
Re-Issue produced by Tom Gulotta and Eric Townsend
By Brian Quincy Newcomb (Feb. 2015)
In that spirit they took a few jabs at some of the more popular theological distortions that were the bread and butter of TV preachers and mega-church evangelists. “New Car!” complete with its game show musical enthusiasm, takes on “The Prosperity Gospel,” while “I Didn’t Build It For Me” and “Autographs for the Sick” take down cult of personality leaders and so-called healers who take advantage of the hurting and less fortunate. Jerry Chamberlain’s “Little Crosses” questions the effectiveness of religious jewelry, while “Angels Tuck You In” challenges the idea of religious sentimentality and privilege, examining the “New Car!” concept that we’re the “King’s Kids.”
Just as “Youth With a Machine” proved prescient, imagining 30 years ago a youth culture obsessed with their electronic devices (they may have missed a bit by focusing only on the youth), musically DA taped a creative energy that was ultra-relevant and timely, but has also passed the test of time. While !Alarma! felt stark and stripped back compared to Horrendous Disc, here they’ve layered on the keyboards and vocals, in a lush take on the current fondness for “new wave,” but with a bigger, broader, bolder palette, richer colors, deeper roots, crunchier guitars. This record is not about revisiting a time warp, but its music endures and its message remains relevant.
But throughout, there is a consistent witness to the alternative life source, a glimmer of the Gospel, an invitation to escape a dualistic existence and choose a more authentic, a more whole and human path, that is a more Christian life. It’s all there at the end as the last song plays out, “Here I Am,” presented as a slide show of the band’s activity in relationship to their fans: the recording of their songs, the presentation and relevance of artful music written and recorded for an audience. When a real connection happens, it’s anything but hollow, and this music, well it goes out with a bang, not a whimper.
(It’s worth pointing out that if you were to buy Doppelganger these days, and you should do just that, it now comes with a deluxe edition bonus disc that includes alternative arrangements and mixes of the songs, as well as a few recorded live in concert. As great as the original final product is, remixed and mastered for better sound, you’ll find these bonus tracks a nice addition to one of the best Christian rock records ever made.)
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Daniel Amos is:
Terry Taylor: Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals and Percussion
Occasional Backing Vocals:
Foreign Correspondence on "Autographs...": Thim, Yolly, Joni, Vinnie and Constant
Keyboard Arrangements: Terry Taylor, Jerry Chamberlain and Tom Howard
Enginner: Thom Roy
Live photos by Brian Martin and others
Music by Taylor/Chamberlain/Chandler)
1. Hollow Man [Alternate]
All Songs 1983 Twitchen Vibes/Paragon Music Corp./ASCAP. All Rights Reserved
Alternate Bonus Mixes by Eric Townsend
Re-mastered by J Powell at Steinhaus