Alarmist: Sequesterer review – Maximal instrumentalism from Dublin trio
Small Pond Recordings
Irish instrumental rock’s big emergent moment was the arrival of The Redneck Manifesto, God is an Astronaut, Adebisi Shank and a host of others in the early 2000s. Alarmist are in the class of the 2010s, and describe themselves as “instrumental maximalists”.
They certainly shoehorned a multitude of sonic ideas into nine tracks on their second album, Sequesterer. For their first outing, Popular Domain, they used two drummers for extra percussive potency. Now, Neil Crowley, Elis Czerniak and Barry O’Halpin have trimmed down to a three-piece, who are capable of creating a huge widescreen expansive sound far beyond the sum of their parts.
Opening with District of Baddies, Alarmist set out their stall of innovative and experimental free-form rock with avant-garde jazz sensibilities. They’ve refined and defined their sound with the tremendously named Deaf Brothers in a studio called the Meadow in Co Wicklow. They ingeniously describe this seven-minute epic as “like being chased through multiple themed city markets by a mob of unspecified baddies”. Meanwhile, they plucked the title Boyfriend In The Sky from a romantic novella name generator.
But there is much more to Alarmist than unusual track titles, as Sequesterer is a brilliant second album, remarkably assured and gorgeously played.