Bloc Party : Four
When Kele Okereke isn’t disappearing for years at a time to hole up in America and release solo albums, he’s muttering cryptically about the band’s imminent break-up. This must make life pretty stressful for the rest of Bloc Party, and may well explain the sense of nervous tension that runs through the band’s new album. Four doesn’t sound like it was written and recorded – it sounds like Bloc Party chased it, cornered it and beat it into submission before it could escape.
Opening song So He Begins To Lie is rough and raw, with Kele’s voice fighting to get out from behind a ferocious tangle of guitars. 3X3 gallops along at a frantic pace, with Kele howling "no one loves you as much as I do" and later moaning "YES! YES! YES! YES!" – if you were the object of his affection, you might actually be a little concerned. Day Four is a moment of real calm amid the squall, harking back to the quiet beauty of Silent Alarm’s Blue Light, although the peace and quiet is short-lived. Coliseum follows, with a guring, fuzzed-out riff that sounds like The Strokes’ Juicebox if it were way more pissed-off. V.A.L.I.S. and Team A sound positively ecstatic compared with what’s come before, the kind of track that inspire shoulder-popping dance moves, although We Are Not Good People closes things with a simultaneous inward and outward burst of anger. The songs on Four have a rough and raw quality that’s a lot closer to Bloc Party’s live show than anything the band have yet recorded. It’s doubtful this will really be their last, but if it is, they’re going out on a pretty powerful note.
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN
Best Track: Day Four
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Silent Alarm BLOC PARTY, First Impressions Of Earth THE STROKES, Decadence HEAD AUTOMATICA
In A Word: Angsty