ALARMS plumb murky punk-rock depths on debut EP ‘Underwater’

ALARMS have made their debut with Underwater, a five-track collection that traces the Bendigo band from punk-rock to shoegaze. 

The EP — which was produced in a single recording session in Castlemaine —  begins with the noisy grit of opener and title track, Underwater.

Quickly establishing the project’s flair for moody post-punk undertones, the tracks brims with frenetic energy and the raucous of clashing cymbals and feverish guitars.

ALARMS single

While an untrained ear might be swept away by all the blissful noise, there are moments of harmony sprinkled throughout Underwater, from the subtle guitar melodies to the gloriously husk of the chanted vocals.

ALARMS’ penchant for catchier moments continues on Defence Wounds, which makes use of fuzzy riffs and percussion so punchy you’d think it was wearing boxing gloves. 

Here, the band sings of wielding sex as a weapon, bringing a raw intensity to their soaring timbre.

ALARMS single

Purpose built for a cathartic sing-along with the windows down, Defence Wounds delivers the kind of angered catharsis you’d expect from true maestros of garage-bound punk rock.

ALARMS dial down the energy for a welcome change of pace on Lucky Foot, the EP’s clearest venture into shoegaze. Here, acoustic strums set the scene for the band’s softer tendencies, which is not to say there’s an absence of grit.

Lucky Foot might assume a more leisurely pace with its melodic guitars and quieter vocal performance, but there’s a buzzing undercurrent that feels as though the band’s apocalyptic sounds are just bubbling under the surface. 

ALARMS single

Naturally, the tension reaches its boiling point on penultimate track Sunday which, for all its groovy basslines and catchy (and impassioned) vocal riffs, still crescendos into a freeing sense of cacophony on the anthemic chorus.

The band’s efforts culminate on closer Superstition, which places ALARMS squarely back in their punkish bag while also dipping into classic rock riffs and stylings. 

The EP would stand as an achievement for any band, but Underwater is especially impressive given that it marks ALARMS’ first-ever project.

Since forming in 2022, the Bendigo bandmates have evidently put work into mastering their craft, and that comes to fruition in all its noisey revelry on Underwater. 

Listen to ALARMS’ new debut EP Underwater below.