Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Stick around long enough and it becomes too easy to be complacent of a band once the terms ‘post punk’ and ‘new wave’ are on the lips of everyone listening. It seems that the ingredients for a stylish band are to listen to Gang of Four, Wire and The Fall, and then deny any involvement with the post punk new wave influences and indulge in intellectual posturing instead.
Bloc Party could be considered somewhat guilty of the above, by at least being cagey about their influences, yet their talent and sheer preciseness of embracing the current sound and making something captivating, puts the New Cross four-piece above the rest.
And now, the time is nigh… the long awaited Bloc Party debut album is upon us, and nods at the four preceding singles, where their Strokes-esque, post punk and angular riff work in an art rock jumble was established and respected, mean that we can expect an album with four good songs on it, at least.
Banquet, Little Thoughts, She’s Hearing Voices and Helicopter are here, yet opener Like Eating Glass, the hauntingly distant and electro squelching Positive Tension, and the frantic Luno, triumph on this album and prove that Silent Alarm isn’t an album that will be carried on the popularity of the previously released singles. Additionally, the common characteristic of all the aforementioned songs are the variations on the main theme which makes each song an epic on its own, and as it changes from the initial theme to another theme to another, the listener is taken into new realms and back again, this is never more notable and wondrous than in Positive Tension.
Many know and love Bloc Party for being the sweaty fast-paced band with post punk sensibilities that generated constant attention at their live shows, so the ballads on this album can be somewhat disappointing, but they do help the overall feeling that Silent Alarm is a diverse album, and although Bloc Party can be pigeon holed into the label of ‘the sound of now’, being one of the most watched bands of 2004 after all, one trait Bloc Party has in droves is their capacity to embrace diversity in their music and variety in a song.