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Alarm Clock Conspiracy: Harlequin

Alarm Clock Conspiracy is a four piece power pop band hailing from North Carolina. In the band are Chris Carter (guitar, vocals), Ian Reardon (guitar, vocals), James Hurlston (drums) and Wes Jameson (bass). Guests include John Keane (pedal steel, keys, guitar, percussion) and Randall Bramblett (keys).

The band play melodic power pop/rock that is incredibly addictive. If I was to compare them to other bands I do hear a little Tom Petty and Counting Crows but the music of REM comes to mind most often.

Songs like the album opening "Skygazer" and "Thinking Of" have jangly guitar and ultra-catchy pop hooks and a real REM feel. The pedal steel solo in "Thinking Of" is quite nice. More power pop can be heard in "Sly Simmons" and "Reginald Day Is Here" with the latter featuring cool guitar effects. The melodic title track with its addictive vocal harmonies has a country flavoured acoustic sound most reminiscent of The Counting Crows while "To My Lost Friend" is a nice slice of R&B flavoured pop with jaunty piano and a countrified guitar solo. For something a little mellower the poignant "Hard Driving Wheel" is an acoustically driven tune with plenty of substance especially in the lyric department.

Alarm Clock Conspiracy have made a very good pop/rock album with Harlequin without falling into the pitfalls of the pop drivel that is heard so much on the radio these days. It has certainly satisfied that pop itch that I get from time to time and is a nice change of pace from the progressive rock I typically listen to.

Track Listing:
1. Skygazer
2. Got My Mind Made Up
3. Harlequin
4. Hard Driving Wheel
5. Thinking Of
6. To My Lost Friend
7. Too Much
8. Sly Simmons
9. On
10. Reginald Day Is Here
11. Creatively Losing Expression
12. You've Been Content
13. Something Tells Me

Added: December 29th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2390
Language: english

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