552506Release Date: 18th May

Label: Drakkar Entertainment

Genre: Dark indie

Although indie is a somewhat vague genre with a penchant for the repetitive, The Exploding Boy are a refreshing twist to the genre with their synth-pop and alt-rock influences – notably The Cure, from whom they gained their name. With 12 years of experience and an extensive discography, the expectations are high for the Swedish sextet’s 5th album Alarms! and they did not disappoint.

Although indie is a somewhat vague genre with a penchant for the repetitive, The Exploding Boy are a refreshing twist to the genre with their synth-pop and alt-rock influences – notably The Cure, from whom they gained their name. With 12 years of experience and an extensive discography, the expectations are high for the Swedish sextet’s 5th album Alarms! and they did not disappoint.

‘Fireland (The End Of Dark City) presents the depressive lyrics of political entrapment. Coupled with the mournful keyboard melody, this creates an entrancingly melancholic air in an excellent introduction to the album. ‘Alarms In Silence’ is more guitar and drum-led with a heavier tone. In a post-punk political statement, this is an introspective track which holds the mirror up to society for the injustice of affluence and a seeming lack of compassion for the conflicts currently taking place in the Middle East.

Changing the tone, ‘The Day’ has a strong 80s vibe with its synthetic melody in a gloomy dance track. Both sorrowful and upbeat, the chorus is captivating and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. However, building on this newly-found energetic beat, ‘Run Red’ holds a steady drum beat with an atmospheric focus on the wistful vocal tone. The amalgamation of these elements creates an anthem which could fill clubs and stadiums alike, and leaves the question of how have The Exploding Boy remained relatively unnoticed in the UK?

Whilst the keys and backing vocal harmonies of ‘Stop Time’ provide a much lighter tone, the bold bassline throughout this song provides a boost of power to give an extra lift. Contrastingly, the strong beat, dark lyrics and melancholic riff of ‘Danger Zone’ makes I a sombre anthem that is just pessimistic enough to highlight the political injustice in the world, whilst also holding an upbeat enough rhythm to prevent the song falling flat. This all makes for a genuinely interesting listen in its unfortunately accurate depiction of the modern world. Developing this political statement further, ‘Sign O’ The Times’ denounces the elitist position many take in their prejudice towards refugees. Built on a frame of a bold beat, and decorated with a collective of sorrowful guitars and keyboard melodies, this is a beautiful track with a tremendous message.

Concluding the album comes ‘11:59’. Nihilistic in nature, this apocalyptic track holds a mournful grace in the light instrumental backing layers, allowing the vocals to take precedence. This allows for an impactful end to Alarms! in this 9-minute-long track, leaving the listener searching for more.

On balance, this is a genuinely important album. Alarms! is not just a series of engaging and well produced tracks, but it is also a calling for everybody to gain a little perspective and compassion to contribute to making the world a better place. That said, the musicality is just as strong as the message. With the consistently powerful drumlines and basslines, this provides the foundation for keys and guitars to weave their melancholic harmonies over. Whether you find yourself more interested in indie, alternative or rock, Alarms! is a terrific album that all music fans should listen to.

Recommended Track: Run Red

Rating: 9/10

Interested in keeping up to date with The Exploding Boy? Check out their Facebook & Twitter for more updates. Also make sure to catch them live at:

Endless Night – Vampire Salon, Dublin – 04/08/18