Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
There is no beating around the bush with this one’s title. Following up from 2004’s Silent Alarm, the record which is tipping Bloc Party to be the band of 2007 sees Snow Patrol producer Jacknife Lee take control at the architectural helm, which has seemingly allowed Kele Okereke to turn increased focus towards his story-telling wishes, stories about parties.
Under Lee’s wand, the aesthetical mould is certainly entering new territories after the more raw-boned sound of Silent Alarm, and it sweetly compliments the often Muse-esque power playing of distorted guitars and thunderous drum fills. The musicianship is in fact exceptional, with a perfectly balanced poise between post-rock ambience (likely to be Lee’s influence), and more hard-hitting Brit-rock which has positively developed from Bloc’s 2004 debut.
However where musicianship excels, the lyrical endeavours of Okereke over-indulge in an all-to familiar contemporary musical theme of London’s ‘hip’ nightlife. Where past musical representations of youth sub-cultures have so often succeeded through subtlety, Okereke’s stories of simply kicking about the East End getting pissed, scoring a few drugs and adding a few notches to his bed-post, isn’t really telling any fellow indie-kid ‘hipsters’ anything more about their collective lifestyles than they should already know. Ironically in fact, he rather rounds up sounding a bit like the contrived middle-class youth whom he seems to be regularly taking a swipe at throughout.
On the whole, this is a conflicting record. With one half of the musical marriage clearly on form, and the other slightly selfishly jading things, would one dare suggest that it is a creative divide that in time could turn into a personal one?