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Following Mike Peters major undertaking for Record Store Day--which saw him perform at record shops in London, New York and Los Angelesin a three-stop transcontinental trip EQUALS, out on June 29, through --THE ALARMhave announced the release of their new album The Twenty First Century Recording Company (manufactured and distributed by InGrooves). To support the album, the band will tour the U.S. this summer with dates kicking off in Minneapolis. They will also make appearances at the Bowery Electric and Gramercy Theatrein NYC and around Los Angeles at the Like Totally Festival in Huntington Beach and UCLA's James Bridges Theater in May. All dates follow below.
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDY LABROW
EQUALS is THE ALARM's first album since 2010's Direct Action. It is a barnstorming collection of 11 songs that act as a retrenchment of old values and a poignant reflection of the tough times MIKE and his wife Jules have been through in recent years. Having recovered from lymph cancer in 1996, MIKE was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2005 and, after an initial recovery, he suffered a relapse in 2015. To compound an already terrifying situation, Jules, who plays piano and sings backing vocals, was diagnosed with breast cancer just after. All band activity was put on hold as the pair underwent treatment and it is only now, with both in remission, that THE ALARM are firing on all cylinders again. The emotional repercussions, though, are all too evident in the spirit of life-affirming optimism in the face of adversity that runs through EQUALS.
"The songs were built out of what I had become," says MIKE. "I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with Jules, and it's all there in the music. I didn't set out to write about what we were going through. All I had were these incredibly strong feelings that I found myself putting into words and writing down onto my phone without even thinking they might form the basis for songs."
Produced by George Williams (who previously worked on 2005's Under Attack), EQUALS opens with a torrent of epic rock numbers such as "Two Rivers "and "Beautiful", which see PETERS singing about coming to terms with the past before moving to enjoy life to the fullest. With MIKEand Jules joined by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros drummer Smiley and guitarist James Stevenson, who cut his teeth with Chelsea, Gen X and The Cult, the album encompasses twin harmony guitars, pounding drums and electronic layering, while guest guitarist Billy Duffy (The Cult) helps PETERS and Stevenson blend acoustic and electric sounds on "Coming Backwards."