With no context, The Time Has Come is a passable slab of '60s garage rock. When told that the Alarm Clocks were teen punks from Parma, Ohio, who iced one legendary single back in '66 and then disappeared for four decades, "The Time Has Come" becomes a testament to breaking the rules. Recorded in Royal Oak at Freddy Fortune's Sound Camera Studios, the Alarm Clocks have faithfully reproduced what one imagines a 1967 record of theirs should've sounded like. With era-accurate fuzz tone and the skill of all the musicians (thankfully) not advanced much beyond teenage levels, the Clocks have pretended the past 40 years never happened and laid waste to the maniacal underground following built around their non-hit "No Reason to Complain." Too many '60s bands get back together years later merely to get back together and rehash. Sure, they have fun, but the recorded output is far from exemplary. The Time Has Come is different way different because it showcases a group of musicians that's clearly hungry. This is not going through the motions. This is pure. The Alarm Clocks give modern garage acts like the Greenhornes or Black Lips a reason to look over their shoulders. "Marie," for example, is a down-tempo, two-chord, no-count gloom, searing with minor-key mayhem. And while garage covers of Dylan often end up a mess, the reworking of "Like a Rolling Stone" gives it an unlikely upbeat spin. If the Keggs, Underdogs or Unrelated Segments are reading, get this record and use it as a guide.
Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times . Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.