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

Sound the Alarm

Stay Inside (2007)


Sound the Alarm released this debut full-length on a major (Geffen), which is quite an accomplishment for the boys, but there's a good reason for the major label signing -- these guys are tailor-made to break into the public consciousness and attract hordes of 13-year-old girls. Just one look at them makes it obvious. You have a bunch of kids who need haircuts and are quite young (not young enough to think Santa Claus put the record contract under their tree, but young enough that they probably don't know the locations of the warp whistles in "Super Mario Bros. 3") playing catchy tunes. Despite a press release that boasts of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin influences, what you're more likely to hear is influence from Yellowcard, the Academy Is…, Taking Back Sunday and other mall-punk acts (with a few hints of `90s radio rock).

The tracks are mostly chorus-driven pop-rock pieces that do everything to stress their catchy refrains. The lyrics are all filled with the teen angst you'd expect, and Howard Benson (who produced similar artists such as My Chemical Romance and the All-American Rejects) highlights it all with extremely smooth production. One point of interest on the disc is that these kids can really play their instruments -- some of the guitar solos busted out are quite impressive for the band's young age, and shows some good creativity. Unfortunately, this is about all that stands out on these 12 tracks.

There really isn't much to say about Sound the Alarm. While they do a fairly good job of this music, there is little on this album that disassociates the band from their contemporaries. The album will be loved by its target demographic, but in a year or two this disc will likely be all but forgotten.