You know when you have a favourite favourite band? And you know that anything they release you’ll like however bad it is. A bit like most of the UK with Oasis, but that’s by the by. When Bloc Party released their follow up to Silent Alarm — A Weekend in the City –– it really was good. Well, the first few tracks were, then it died a bit. It was too lyrically heavy and too moany and too repetitive.
So here we are…(gettit?) faced with the prospect of Bloc‘s third attempt. I was already expecting great things when the single Flux was released as a stand-alone single. This was not the Bloc Party we once knew, there was a definite Electronica/Dance influence. Then came the pre-release single, Mercury. It was now clear that there was some sort of Grime/Dubstep or even BigBeat influence. But it was good!
When they announced the release of this album, 3 days before its release, I was jumping for joy (literally). It arrived through my e-postbox and I downloaded it; eagerly anticipating… something.
The album opens with Ares the type of track every teenager wants to play turned up to 11 so that their parents tell them to “turn that racket off!” Yes, I can imagine a lot of people do not appreciate this genre of racket but I really do. Kele seems to have ditched the gloom he had acquired for Weekend and has a newly found taste for satire and charisma. It’s a war anthem, and it’s chaotically fabulous.
But have no fear! It’s not like the old Bloc we all know and love has disappeared, Lunoesque track; Halo along withTrojan Horse and One Month Off posses aspects of Silent Alarm’s floor-filling, guitar filled beauty. And then the soundscapes of Weekend can be heard in tracks like Biko and Signs.
So what does front man Mr. Kele Okere make of the album? He has said that this is his “break-up” album and many of the songs concern a break-up he endured at the end of 2007 (awwww). He has also said he wanted to create songs that would make you want to move on a dancefloor, rather than music you want to sit down and immerse yourself in. Well I felt that in fact I did want to immerse myself in the music, but in the context of a dancefloor.
Fear, aspiration, need and irritation stutter throughout the appropiately titled album and are well typified by lots of precisely meddled and layered vocals, stilted, broken beats and beautifully crashing finales.
Anyway, difficult descriptions aside. I love this album, it sounds good in my ears, and that’s why you should buy it, or at the very least buy it in October when the physical album is released or at the very very least listen to some of the tracks on their myspace. Or you could just not bother.