On their latest album, 2016’s ‘HYMNS’, Bloc Party sounded more like a work-in-progress than ever. Understandably so, given how a newly-arranged four-piece were forced to deal with the departure of two founding members and more vitally, their famously tight rhythm section (bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong). Moments of ‘HYMNS’ jarred, lacking the breakneck speed of early work and the driven experimentalism of ‘Silent Alarm’’s successors.
With new members Louise Bartle and Justin Harris joining after the album was recorded, ‘HYMNS’ was more like a prelude than an opening chapter to Bloc Party MK II’s story. ‘Stunt Queen’ - the first song all four current members wrote and recorded together - puts pen to paper. It has the same frazzled energy as the band’s best material, Russell Lisack’s saw-toothed guitars making a welcome return. It might not break ground on a monumental scale, but it has the makings of a pivotal moment for these four musicians. They’re a band building up steam, bidding farewell to a troubled past.
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