False Alarm

Fuck ‘Em All, We’ve All Ready (Now) Won!

By Jillian Abbene
(SugarBuzz Wash DC/Richmond))

SugarBuzz Magazine

Talk about a diamond in the rough! False Alarm’s, “Fuck’em All, We’ve All Ready (now) Won!” is a hidden treasure. Initially, I didn’t know it.

So get this: Stiv Bators, George Tabb, De De Troit, David Johansen, Cheetah Chrome, Jimmy Zero and Rick Wilder, all pitching in on the contributions of this CD with emerging unknown talents of Dylan Maunder, Brent Alden, Paul Kostabi and Art Chianello. Wait—did I mention that the brilliant artwork on the CD cover was painted by none other than the late-great Dee Dee Ramone? With Paul Kostabi as the joint collaborator on the painting, bright, primary colors are outlined to accentuate primitive simplicity as a state of mind. It’s all over this CD.

The first track, ‘Horrible Life,’ is consistent and melodic-driven. Somber lyrics are synonymous to Cheetah Chrome’s guitar riffs adding finishing touches to rat-a-tat drum rolls, which makes this song fitting as an opener. Then ‘Enemies,’ switches gears into a deviant shift of punk rock sneer. Brent Alden’s slurried-monotoned growl admix a nice-steady three-chord rhythm with him on bass, embraces the ’77 nostalgia jam. I really like this song. Effectively capturing the ‘Sex Pistols’ in all of us, pogo-fringed melancholy only wishes I could have seen this song performed live.

‘Youth Gone Mad,’ allures street punk with Brent Alden on solitary bass jumping in repeated gang vocals in chorus. Rick Wilder spits out words here and Cheetah’s riffs peak between verses. A light-hearted switch, this song is about the camaraderie between False Alarm and the actual band, ‘Youth Gone Mad.’ Kind of cool to have a band create a song about another band! However, on a serious note, ‘Tell Me Who I Am,’ is strung together with rhythm fuzz-chords and longer lead-squeals, holding in the raw irony like punishment. Dylan pulls off solitary croons like a somber shake-off in a drug/liquor depression, ever engraving his aching vocals to hauntingly linger. It’s very effective.

‘My Destruction,’ is an immediate heavy. Raw guitar intros to straight-out meaty rhythms plugs into interwoven riffs. Nice. I like the guitar-strum fade-outs that evaporate between verses leaving Dylan’s vocals in the center of a storm of amplified chords and wailing notes making this song a great punk rock romp.

Switching to the baritone of De De Troit, ‘In My Mind,’ drawls and whines amidst a drugged-out lilting beat. Here, slower clean guitar wails in swirling toxified angst with a borderline charm. His drawls are so drawn out that it feels as if someone is slowly pulling on the back of my hair. Building in erosion, the harder fuzzed-rhythms of the cover of the Dead Boys’, ‘High Tension Wire,’ the joint highlighted collaboration of False Alarm, Cheetah and Jimmy Zero. Hustles as if three chords are fighting for first dibs on the M8, as the vocals and cymbal/beat takes a back seat to the guitar works. Fuzzed-texture to nasal-needled lyrics venom in swamped blues and insinuating overtures. Damn, it feels like the aforementioned R.I.P.’s have never left, capturing all that is old school. Top notch on this one.

The last song, ‘I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend,’ holds strong with bass, like glue, aligned with shirked- staccatoed chords. Sarcasm scowls lyrics and croons almost in annoyance as Cheetah bashes out the last chords as if it were a list of last-will-and-testament in disturbances, all ending in well-placed finality.

Let me point out that each song on this CD is a separate charged entity. With a signature theme, consistent in each element/instrument, and unique to each artist, it templates the sound. It is a shame that Dylan Maunder, such a talented lead vocalist, died in 2005. He deserves to be acknowledged for displaying such vocal diversity. He can be best remembered by successfully putting his own stamp on this compilation.


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