Sound the Alarm - Sound the Alarm (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm (2006)

Rock Ridge

It begins, and just like that, it's over. The "it" I'm currently referring to is the 23 minutes of music on Sound the Alarm's self-titled foray into the already oversaturated world of pop-rock. With a sound that nearly mirrors that of established act Armor for Sleep, it begs the question, why not just listen to Armor for Sleep in the first place?

That's a query I don't have a good answer for, because this album has nothing to offer that Dream to Make Believe can't offer in a more dynamic nature. And Armor for Sleep, at least on that record, aren't even that dynamic a band to begin with. So what you're left with on this EP is five songs that seem to last any true form or direction.

It's glorified background music.

Singer Cody Jancovic is comfortable in his niche leading these songs, but that complacency breeds a sort of, "oh, well it's good enough" sense. The only time any real variation is offered is when the standard pop-rock practice of momentarily dropping the guitars to let the vocals have a more "serious" sound is implemented into a few of these tracks. Jancovic is able to pull that off to a decent degree, as he does have a rather solid voice, but it's still not enough to give these six tracks the true jolt that is needed to let them leave the ground.

The instrumentation, as with the vocals, provide a solid basis…and nothing else. Catching a general theme here? Because you should be. It's not until "Waiting for Winter," a track that oddly enough bares extreme resemblance to an Armor for Sleep song, that I can really get into the music on even the most basic level. Unfortunately for the band, it's a too little too late scenario, as it's the 5th of 6 songs on the EP, and by that time, my mind is almost firmly made up. Credit is due for being able to alternate between a more upbeat sound, as the first half of the EP displayed, and a more slow-churning track as we have with "Waiting for Winter," but that's as close to redeeming value as I was able to find.

Just another case of being better off going for the genuine article (AFS) than settling for the next best thing.