Alarm Clock Conspiracy | Harlequin (s/r)

cd alarm-clockThe album is a dreamy, yet uneven, combination of rock, alternative pop, country, and ’70s classic rock.




Alarm Clock Conspiracy, who hails from Ashville, N.C., has just released its newest effort, Harlequin. A dreamy, yet uneven, combination of rock, alternative pop, country, and ’70s classic rock, the band has a Fleetwood Mac/Eagles–type of flavor: a little country, a little blues, and lots of melody.

Harlequin features robust guitar work courtesy of Ian Reardon and Chris Carter. The rhythm section, consisting of James Hurlston on drums and Wes Jameson on bass, keeps a nice groove going. Rounding out the band is John McKinney on keys.

Produced by John Keane of the popular John Keane Studios, who have hosted acts such as R.E.M., Indigo Girls, and Taj Majal, the album kicks off with “Skygazer,” a track with an early ’80s feel, reminiscent of The Cure and Big Country. From synths to steel guitars, this is a fairly well performed, well-rounded rock album. The Lynyrd Skynyrd–ish title track, “Harlequin,” is mellow and melancholy, while “On” comes enveloped in lush, ELO-type vocal harmonies and a catchy melody.

Overall, though, ACC needs to focus more on what sound it wants to pursue. The country flair takes away from what is otherwise a cool rock album. With their musical and writing ability, this band could really rock; they simply need to find direction. C+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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