Having interviewed Joe, and therefore knowing something of his previous musical agenda, I approach Red Alert with renewed interest – bearing in mind the times in which we all find ourselves.
Red Alert begins with a faux TV announcement about Covid-19 infiltration of Bangkok before plunging into a series of 90s musical tropes which show a huge dynamic range of squashy Prodigy-esque synthesisers, processed vocals and Joe’s signature ‘geezer’ delivery.
The only targets in his crosshairs for this tune are a) the panic-mongering, bog-roll hoarding lame brains amongst us and b) the ignorant media and politicians that peddle fear, misinformation, or both. Again refusing to squarely point the finger, however, Joe’s agenda on this occasion (according to the text on the YouTube video) is to ‘remember to look after each other (and especially your Nan)’. Red Alert is a Publick Safety Announcement, apparently.
‘Right, this is a Publick announcement / You! Wash yer ‘ands!’ bellows Joe, going through the government advice we’ve all heard to the point where ‘I’m putting this place on lockdown’.
This is a fun, frothy and retro sound that explodes out of the speakers and has a zesty kinetic video made to accompany it. The synths, replicating sirens and wailing around chugging, chunky guitar riffs help to drive a short, snappy, buzzing tune through to where our hero (suddenly feeling a bit hot) experiences a sneeze that commits the track to its own immediate lockdown.