Music Review Series: Looking Back On The 80’s Music | 1981 Then and Now


¡Alarma! ~Daniel Amos | Now and Then

“Shining in the center, my Lord in the center
Jesus in the center, revolving around Him
Always revolving around Him”

How do I put this, without sounding insulting to the band or to the listener?  Daniel Amos isn’t the most listenable band.  Their content choices, musical choices and delivery can make them a hard band to listen to.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a try. Many others have and as a result, they’ve built a very dedicated cult like following.  And their influence on both music and musician runs deep.

Take ¡Alarma!, for instance.  Its the 1st of a 4 album series called, The ¡Alarma! Chronicles.  Volume One, is a 4 chapter story of a vision of the American Church in 1981.  These 4 chapters and prologue correspond to 5 songs on the album:

  1.  Prologue – “Central Theme”
  2. Chapter One – “Alarma”
  3. Chapter Two – “(The Truth Gets) Colored By”
  4. Chapter Three – “Props”
  5. Chapter Four – “Ghost of the Heart”

The other songs, more or less, support the overall theme of ¡Alarma!.  Lyrically, ¡Alarma! is a scathing depiction of the  American Church in 1981, warning of the infighting and isolationism to which God will judge.

Musically, ¡Alarma! rocks.  Even now, it rocks.  I know I said they are a hard band to listen to, but that doesn’t take away from this album or others.  What I mean is, Elvis Costello and King’s X are also hard to listen to, but both, especially the former, have made amazing music.  They demand a more attentive ear.  That ear will be rewarded with something edgy and something literate.  Take a dive.  This album was listed at No. 62 in the book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.

“There’s buzzing, there’s static, someone’s on the line
Will d.j.’s be playing this a second time?
I better tell you, Jesus says He loves you
Through the speakers, through the speakers”

alarmafrontReleased: April 1981
Genres: New-wave, rock, post-punk, surf, ska
Producer: Daniel Amos & Thom Roy
Line up: Terry Taylor – lead vocals & guitar | Jerry Chamberlain – lead guitar | Marty Dieckmeyer – bass guitar | Ed McTaggert – drums
Purchase On: iTunes / Amazon



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