New Albums: Bloc Party – Four
Freddie Matthews writes from London: Bloc Party have been making music together since 2003 and their debut release Silent Alarm came out in 2005. Silent Alarm, which was named the indie album of the year, was an incredible insight into Bloc Party’s future as one of Britain’s most creative, original and cult indie bands. At the time it was almost as if they were carving a whole new musical scene and little did they know or realise it but they were the purveyors of a whole new music generation. The band actually formed at the Reading Festival in 1999 but didn’t decide on the name Bloc Party until 2003, after having trialled many other incarnations. Those four years certainly helped form what hit the UK with a huge indie bang.
Musically Bloc Party fall into the indie and alternative genre. There are a few mentions of rock but that word should be used ‘very’ loosely and certainly only for their faster, edgier songs and most definitely not with any mullets or head banging in mind and NEVER with leather and devil horns.
The second album, A Weekend In The City, followed in 2007 and the third album, Intimacy, just one year later. However it was at about this point that Bloc Party’s musical direction started to stretch at the seams. Frontman Kele Okereke was now firmly into the electronic scene, as his future solo singles would affirm, while the rest of the band just didn’t get it. There was a serious division in the band about which direction their music future should lie.
When Bloc Party’s 5-year record deal ended, lead singer Kele was quoted saying the band had no industry obligations or pressure. The fourth album was on an indefinite timescale. News like this wasn’t good for Bloc Party fans the world over and subsequently the band broke up in 2009, with the members unsure as to whether they’d ever reform again.
Two years later, after many solo projects and performances, the news leaked out that the original members of the band Bloc Party were writing together again. This was the news fans the world over had been waiting for. It was to be much more back to basics, back to the Silent Alarm album days and back to where the bulk of their fanbase wanted them to be.
The new Bloc party album Four was released on the 20 August 2012. It’s urgent and somehow they’ve managed to rediscover whatever it was that made them so special in the first place. The guitar parts are exciting, vibrant, unique and energetic. The drumming is edgy, accomplished and different to the run of the mill styles we’re so used to these days. The song writing is polished and tender. Less is very much more and this is by far their most prolific piece of work to date, despite the fact we had to wait for four years for album number four.
If you’re into the indie music scene then Four will already be on your shelf/Mac/PC/Laptop/iPad/iPod or in the Cloud, or wherever on whatever. But if you’ve not considered this masterpiece of an album, then you could do far worse than to buy it and help support another British band in 2012.
The band that somehow created a whole generation some 7 years ago have miraculously pulled another out of the bag in 2012