One of the most original music acts to emerge from the hills of Asheville, North Carolina, Americana power-pop group Alarm Clock Conspiracy, have released their sophomore album 'Harlequin'. The “conspiracy” which the band speaks of is the fallacy that all humans must awake to a bellowing alarm clock each morning only to rush off to work at a job that they truly hate. Wake up to right now! ACC's music is a combination of Indie Rock, Power Pop and Alt-Country, with influences drawn from 60's & 70's acoustic folk and rock music, as well as more current indie rock sounds of today. ACC's focus is on high energy live performances, as well as writing genuine songs that are infectious and to the point. The group plays a performance of original music, as well as covers by such bands as The Beatles, The Police, Pink Floyd, The Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and many more... What sets Alarm Clock Conspiracy apart from most acts out there is their ability to play an acoustic performance, or a full bore electric rock show. The band pride themselves on their versatility to fit to whatever situation the event calls for.
Chris Carter and Ian Reardon originally joined creative forces as an acoustic guitar/vocal duo in the late summer of 2000. In the fall of 2009 Wes Jameson joined the band on bass, and James Hurlston was added on drums. Since then, the band has played hundreds of live shows in the southeast, exciting audiences, and steadily building a crowd base of dedicated fans. In May of 2013, ACC added John McKinney on keyboards and the band was complete. In 2012, ACC released its first, critically acclaimed, self-produced album, with the help of their friend and engineer Greg Sipes. The self-titled album featured long time friends Michael Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) on mandolin, Forrest Smith on pedal steel, and Isaac Wells on percussion. In January of 2013, ACC's first album drew the attention of a record label from Athens, GA which landed the group a recording contract. The band immediately went to work on their new album 'Harlequin'.
Ian Reardon explains, “The songs for 'Harlequin' were written by Chris Carter and I over many years with a debut of our bassist Wes Jameson writing the last track on the album. We were sent to John Keane Studios in Athens, GA (www.johnkeanestudios.com) by our former record label to record 3 sessions, over a span of 12 days, over a 3-week period from March - April of 2013. It was really great to get the opportunity to record in such a laid-back atmosphere where such bands as REM, Widespread Panic, The Indigo Girls, Warren Zevon, Billy Bragg, Robyn Hitchcock, Taj Mahal, The Troggs, and Uncle Tupelo had once recorded. John is an amazing producer/engineer. It was pretty amazing to watch him do edits at lightning speed, as well as watch him navigate the studio without any other studio hands helping him out. John overdubbed pedal steel, Hammond organ, and a little guitar on the album, then he brought in Randall Bramblett (http://randallbramblett.com/) to record keys on 2 of the tracks, 'To My Lost Friend', and 'Something Tells Me'. Randall has worked with such bands as Traffic, Steve Winwood, Greg Allman Band, Bonnie Raitt, Widespread Panic, as well as many others.”
Through an unfortunate turn of events funding for the new album was put on hold. Ian relates, “As you can imagine we were pretty devastated.... We were left to cover all of the cost ourselves if we wanted to release the album. We really got into this recording project so we were prepared to do anything to make it see the light of day. After a long year of back and forth we were finally released from our contract. We started a successful crowd sourcing campaign on indigogo.com and we finally assumed total control of the album.”
And now, Alarm Clock Conspiracy's highly anticipated second album 'Harlequin' is available!
Alarm Clock Conspiracy is:
Ian Reardon is originally from Boston, MA. Ian plays guitar and sings in ACC. He has been playing for the last 25 + years. He was formally in the bands MarsupiaL and W.I.G.
Chris Carter is originally from Birmingham, AL. Chris plays guitar and sings in ACC. He has been playing guitar and drums for the last 25 + years. He was formally in the bands Sunshine and the Bad Things, MarsupiaL, The Greenfields, Partial to Mable, and Mr Neutron.
Wes Jameson is originally from Hendersonville, NC. Wes plays bass in ACC. He has played bass for the last 20 + years. He was formally in the bands Davenport, & The Royal We.
James Hurlston is originally from Chicago, IL. James plays drums in ACC. He has played drums for the last 15 + years. He was formally in the bands Joltwagon.
John McKinney is originally from Brevard, NC. John plays keyboards with ACC. He has been playing keyboards and guitar for the last 20 + years. He also currently plays with the bands The Gravelys, Leigh Glass and the Hazards.
Bill Kopp of Musoscribe recently reviewed the new ACC album: “Back in early 2012 I championed their first album, but on 'Harlequin', this Asheville NC-based quartet has seriously raised the bar. Thanks in large part to the songwriting prowess of two very different composers (guitarists Chris Carter and Ian Reardon) the album is a near-perfect balance of powerpop, Southern rock and progressive-leaning rock. Reardon’s title track hints at what 'modern country' could sound like if the genre didn't, y'know, suck. The soaring yet understated harmonies on Carter's 'Thinking Of' are delightful. It wouldn't surprise me to see this album picked up by a larger label and reissued. Buy this disc.”