Featuring THE ALARM’s Mike Peters on vocals and guitar and former SIMPLE MINDS member Derek Forbes on bass, the band also includes Jamie Watson, who joins his father Bruce Watson on guitar. The elder Watson along with drummer Mark Brzezicki are the sole remaining members of the band’s classic lineup present on this album.
“In a Broken Promise Land” starts off the album on a high note with power and a mix of the best of both BIG COUNTRY and THE ALARM. Big sound and the guitar sound that retains the sound that you would expect and love with a chorus that sticks to you on the first listen. “The Journey” is a great song that has excellent guitar playing and drumming and keeps the flow from the first song going. “Hurt” has the sound of THE ALARM and U2 mixed together on this beautiful slow song that sends shivers down my spine and made me listen to it again before carrying on. “Home of the Brave” takes us on a more hard rock sound than either band ever did on their own and they do a damn fine job of it too with a smoldering song that sounds good cranked up loud. “Angels & Promises” is another great slow song that has both power and passion in the performance. “Last Ship Sails” has an almost punk sound and energy that pushes the song along and makes it a highlight. “Hail & Farewell” ends off the album with another powerful performance on a slow song that swells as it plays and is the perfect ending to the new incarnation of BIG COUNTRY.
Yes, it’s not the band we all grew up listening to, and it’s not THE ALARM either, rather it’s a new start for BIG COUNTRY and it couldn’t have been better. The band still lives up to the first part of their name “BIG”, with the playing and the choruses, you can’t help but hear how big it all is. I will always miss Stuart Adamson, but Mike Peters does a terrific job carrying the torch of this great band.