Enemy Alliance / The Indecision Alarm - The New Wind and the Second Wave (Cover Artwork)

Enemy Alliance / The Indecision Alarm

The New Wind and the Second Wave (2007)

No Reason

Having flicked through Enemy Alliance's demos once to great indifference and never having heard of the Indecision Alarm, I wasn't expecting much of this split. Still, as an avid Satanics fan, I decided that this was worth a go. Now, it's been a long time since I have been excited by anyone doing the fast, melodic punk/hardcore thing-- without being snooty, there's only so many years one can take of that infamous double-time beat before losing interest.

Enemy Alliance's side demanded that I pay attention, however. Contrary to me believing that this would be a second-rate, tired-sounding Surfers, it's as if these Swedish veterans got together with a new fire in their bellies and just got down to what they do best. Opener "Apparatus of Repression" hits the spot perfectly with a nice solo and a bucket of speed whilst we are treated to a cool little gang vocal ending to "Sacrifice." "Vultures" asks "when did music become a convenience?!?" and features vocalist Flygare urging the band "to take it back to the heart...they've got the wealth, they've got the power but the music is ours!." Ordinarily, this would seem like one hell of a wooden spoon, but in the context of the song, it's a welcomed and reassuring hand on the shoulder to people like me who have, perhaps, become jaded. A postcard for this release said "For fans of Tomorrow's Empires era Propagandhi." Yeah I guess so, but in the same way "Family Guy" is for fans of "The Simpsons," if you get my point. Not even the political lyrics can match up to the complexity of that record, but appeal in a similar way.

Initially, the Indecision Alarm (three-fourths of Adhesive, who I never got a chance to check out, so excuse my ignorance) paled in comparison. Also from Sweden, the foursome seemed to lack the passion and melody so obvious in the first half of the split. Very European sounding, they offer up a much softer sound and slightly more subtle guitar riffs. But it works. The key lies in the harmonized backing vocals. Without them, I think TIA could sound like any other support act on the European punk circuit -- the music is to the point and no-thrills. But sure enough, I can't listen to "Where Every Fucking Dream Is Killed" or "New Brooms vs. Old Doctrines" without singing along. The weaker side to the split I think, but by no means a skip-fest, as is the case with a few splits I own. I would not hesitate to check out the live show. Modern day punk done solidly, which is cool in my book.

This release is not a classic and these days has narrow appeal, but if this is indeed The New Wind of the Second Wave as the title oh-so modestly suggests, I am definitely still in for the ride.