You don’t get many bands like Bloc Party. While pop is largely insincere and throwaway, and the alternative spends far too long trying to be edgy and cool to ever write a tune, this is a band who can make a song catchy and sound smart at the same time.
In fact, you could almost call them iconic already. The broadsheets throw praise at them in one breath, while they’re rocking out the CD:UK and Popworld studios with the next. Whether it’s due to them being the most tipped band of 2005, or the fact they happen to be a band with guitars and an eloquent black frontman, everyone has a different angle.
As with every hype-fuelled act, the debut album is met with a certain degree of anticipation. While half the world is eager to go overboard on the praise, others are just waiting for them to fall flat on their face. There’s going to be a hell of a lot of disappointed cynics.
‘Silent Alarm’ is exactly the LP many were expecting from Bloc Party. Despite the much mentioned omission of previous single ‘Little Thoughts’ it pushes near every button in the musical arsenal, and still has room to throw a cheeky grin at the chasing pack.
‘Like Eating Glass’ announces all intentions in typical style. Building, intricate guitars wind around understated, considered vocals and yet still manage to make a track that sticks in the mind. While ‘Helicopter’ may be the obvious single, there’s more than one way to capture the attention.
‘Positive Tension’ broods and yelps before exploding into a cascade contrasting riffs, drum beats and basslines. There aren’t many bands with a better command of their instruments than Bloc Party. From the slow burning yet uplifting tones of ‘Blue Light’ to the driving ‘Price of Gas’, with it’s vast array of effects and noises, there may be a coherent sound, but trying to pin it down is near impossible.
Despite leaving out so many potential superhits, there’s not a track that doesn’t deserve it’s place. As DIY once read: ‘If you like your rock arty, you’ll love Bloc Party.’
A truer word has never been spoken.
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