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Friday, April 15, 2005

Bloc Party

I like Bloc Party: sans NME covers, sans Fader cover and sans the older band t-shirt that a band member wears in a promo photo.

I'm not really into these modern, '80s-styled, post-punk bands, but I really dig Bloc Party's music for a variety of reasons. When I tell somebody about their stuff, I often reference the guitar melodies and vocal melodies first. Kele projects his unique and accessible voice clearly and has an impressive range. The guitar interplay between Kele and Russell has all sorts of post-punk noodling but not all post-punk noodling. Throwing some shimmering effects and warm harmonies in the guitars is a very welcome addition. The rhythm section is strong and helps push forward the guitar and vocal melodies. Still, the melodies you hear in songs like "This Modern Love," "Little Thoughts" and "Like Eating Glass" are tasty ear candy.

The first song I heard by the band was "Staying Fat" from the 'red' self-titled EP. The song reminded me of Braid and the Dismemberment Plan and its energy was quite infectious. I was in a record store when I heard the song and I asked the clerk who this was (something I rarely do unless I'm really taken by a song). The clerk was very kind to show me the EP's cover and played "Staying Fat" again. I still really dug the song on the second spin and I looked forward to what they came up with next.

NME started talking the band up and kept likening them to bands like Gang of Four. I was confused: how could a band that reminded me of mid-to-late '90s post-hardcore be likened to funky angular post-punk from the early-'80s?

When this thread popped up on the Sound Ops board, calling Silent Alarm the "first important album of '05" was rather bold. Then I went to SxSW and couldn't avoid posters of the band's Fader cover shot. The hype machine was in full effect and of course, there were the detractors: "Meh, it's alright" and "I don't see what's so great about this band" were some of the popular ones.

Since Silent Alarm has been out in the US, I've enjoyed listening to the record on a regular basis. I hope more good things are to come from this band.

1 comment:

Jason H. said...

I'm one of those "meh, it's alright" people.