Punknews.org
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (Cover Artwork)

Bloc Party

Bloc Party: Silent AlarmSilent Alarm (2005)
Vice Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: joeJoe
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ever since Franz Ferdinand mysteriously made the big time, especially in the UK, people have been searching for a band who are going to achieve a similar feat and gain success from pretty much out of nowhere. Four-piece Bloc Party are the latest band to be hyped to the maximum, even though they are .
iTunes StoreAmazon


Ever since Franz Ferdinand mysteriously made the big time, especially in the UK, people have been searching for a band who are going to achieve a similar feat and gain success from pretty much out of nowhere. Four-piece Bloc Party are the latest band to be hyped to the maximum, even though they are not as outwardly commercial as Franz / Razorlight / the Libertines.

Their first full-length, Silent Alarm, goes a long way to -- for once -- justifiying the industry hype. A more abrasive and challenging record than you would expect, Bloc Party never really stick to one style and in that respect are consistently keeping up the listener's interest. Vocalist Kele Okereke is a pretty strong vocalist, even if he reminds me a bit of the dude from Ikara Colt, and he really leaves an impression. The drumming is also excellent throughout, with frantic beats and time changes evident on most of the tracks, especially "Banquet" and "Little Thoughts." Bloc Party can go from reminding you of the Cure to sounding like the Strokes (albeit more musically talented) in a short space of time, but you couldn't really call them derivative or unoriginal, which given ther weight of expectation suddenly placed on their shoulders, is to the band's credit. Even though most of the tracks could get you jumping around, there are more somber moments on Silent Alarm too, like on "This Modern Love" and "So Here We Are," which was a big Top 5 hit in the UK and cemented BP's place as a band with a bright future. Even during moments of reflection, the music takes twists and turns so you don't really get bored of the material at any point.

Bloc Party are experts at carving out intricate melodies, fast and frantic breakdowns and the occasional catchy chorus -- especially on "Helicopter," which is the album's best track as far as I'm concerned. There aren't a great many flaws with Silent Alarm; maybe they (at very rare) moments focus a little too much on making the music as hectic as possible, but this is only a minor complaint. Fans of lively rock music which doesn't conform to a particular type should really try to track down this album as you might be pleasantly surprised by its quality, and if they ever come to your town, their live show is not to be missed either.

Here's hoping they don't feel to much pressure to impress on their second album, because at this rate they could become the best British band for quite a while.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bloc Party - A Weekend in the CityDeath From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A MachineThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandAlexisonfire - CrisisBrand New - Deja EntenduBear Vs Shark - Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands. And If Something Isn't Quite Right...The Mars Volta - Amputechture

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
dcforc (January 23, 2006)

first off...this cd is absolutely amazing. it never has a dull moment, and the drummer is outstanding. i honestly don't give a fuck about who they sound like...i know they're good right now.

second...i want to sincerely thank ubershep for being himself and making me laugh with these comments...

"Vice magazine's gonna make a fortune. Fuck this dancey emo album. If you wanna listen to dance music, get some Madonna or Prince. This shit is for people with big egos who do cocaine."

Like Madonna and Prince never did cocaine.

and...

Everyone is whining about how bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, and Hot Hot Heat ripped off Gang of Four because they are popular bands. The whiner only knows about Gang of Four because of the current growth of bands who named them as an influence, thus forcing them back into common knowledge. This gives him scene points for pretending to be "in the know" and feel better about themselves.

Franz Ferdinand never even heard of Gang of Four until someone interviewed them and commented about it. Their biggest influence are the Buzzcocks.

Some one said Hot Hot Heat ripped them off. WTF?! If they ripped of anyone, its XTC.

Bloc Party has more in common with Wire than anyone else.

The Futureheads have claimed GO4 as one of their biggest influence. Their album was produced by one of them and is ripe with the current dance rock cliches as the others, but no one complains about them.

Shut up because you have no idea what your talking about. All of these bands are talented and make some fun catchy music. That is all.

Tthe Fall are much better band anyway.

Anonymous (January 8, 2006)

anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot, and anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac. thats the state of mind we're all in.

all i know is i put this cd on at a party last night, and it cranked, it is better than half the shit cd's/beer mats that are out there. but im sure to you guys, i was obviously at a party full of idiots or maniacs.

(i got done for speeding on my way to the party ironically, 116 in a 100 zone, 3 points and $150. goddamnit.)

benz (July 14, 2005)

"to the other guy who made fun of my nickname, yep. i made it when i was 12. i, however, am not concerned about people like you and what they think of my nickname. dillhole"

well, bloc party probably doesn't care what you think of their name then.

I always assumed that it was a political band name. It's not bad.

-benz

Anonymous (May 31, 2005)

Posted by Anonymous on 2005-05-14 06:05:03
indie bullshit, boo hoo my girlfriend left me and i look like i'm from the 70's.yawn.

Haha, my vote for dumbest comment in this thread.

Anonymous (May 19, 2005)

'bloc party' is at least in theory a political band name

i dont know much about the band though

soulbleed (May 18, 2005)

the guy below me doesn't know the use of italics.

to the other guy who made fun of my nickname, yep. i made it when i was 12. i, however, am not concerned about people like you and what they think of my nickname. dillhole.

Anonymous (May 18, 2005)

you know what? you guys aren't impressing anyone, every idiot owns at least one Gang of Four record, you aren't special, nobody thinks you're fucking elite for stating the obvious. that said, shut up. yes, they sound like gang of four, yes it's still very good, just like Interpol sounds like Joy Division, just like the Libertines sound like the Clash, and just like those bands are all still very good bands. i don't need some little 18 year old shit to tell me how everyone is ripping off everyone when they just started listening to these old punk bands a year or two ago. get your little egos in check.

Yes, but this band still sucks.

Anonymous (May 17, 2005)

you know what? you guys aren't impressing anyone, every idiot owns at least one Gang of Four record, you aren't special, nobody thinks you're fucking elite for stating the obvious. that said, shut up. yes, they sound like gang of four, yes it's still very good, just like Interpol sounds like Joy Division, just like the Libertines sound like the Clash, and just like those bands are all still very good bands. i don't need some little 18 year old shit to tell me how everyone is ripping off everyone when they just started listening to these old punk bands a year or two ago. get your little egos in check.

Anonymous (May 17, 2005)

Chinatown's funny because he thinks he knows what he's talking about.

Anonymous (May 16, 2005)

British Sea Power is lame. This score's for The Decline of. I've never heard this band, nor do I want to.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (May 16, 2005)

all hail british sea power!

Anonymous (May 16, 2005)

while there may be some douchery in jones, he's still got a heart of gold, just like the tin man, or lion, or whatever old ass children's cartoon it is that i'm thinking of...

Anonymous (May 16, 2005)

That jones guy is a douche.

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

awesome cd

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

I can say with 100% accuracy that most of the bands you listen to do not have "their own sound". Especially if you frequent a punk music website.

Oh boy, you got me good.

tristan (May 15, 2005)

Two months later I'm already awfully tired of it.

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

"bloc party is the worst band name since hoobastank."

Not as shit as your username though.
Soulbleed m/ yeah m/

ubershep (May 14, 2005)

"They are almost retarded."

How else would you act around Nardwuar.

gladimnotemo (May 14, 2005)

http://nardwuar.com/vs/bloc_party/

They are almost retarded.

ElVaquero (May 14, 2005)

More Bloc Party/GO4 shit: I'd say that BP sound more like GO4 than the other kids doing that shit these days. In my review I talked about how the new new wave is mostly about copping New Order... etc. but Bloc Party seems to cop more GO4, and I say that because of the rhythm section, not the guitar tone. ITZ IN DEE DRUMZ N BAZZ.

soulbleed (May 14, 2005)

bloc party is the worst band name since hoobastank.

Crookedsuperhero (May 14, 2005)

And another thing, this isn't hectic.

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

terrible review, learn to write

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

indie bullshit, boo hoo my girlfriend left me and i look like i'm from the 70's.yawn.

ubershep (May 14, 2005)

Everyone is whining about how bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, and Hot Hot Heat ripped off Gang of Four because they are popular bands. The whiner only knows about Gang of Four because of the current growth of bands who named them as an influence, thus forcing them back into common knowledge. This gives him scene points for pretending to be "in the know" and feel better about themselves.

Franz Ferdinand never even heard of Gang of Four until someone interviewed them and commented about it. Their biggest influence are the Buzzcocks.

Some one said Hot Hot Heat ripped them off. WTF?! If they ripped of anyone, its XTC.

Bloc Party has more in common with Wire than anyone else.

The Futureheads have claimed GO4 as one of their biggest influence. Their album was produced by one of them and is ripe with the current dance rock cliches as the others, but no one complains about them.

Shut up because you have no idea what your talking about. All of these bands are talented and make some fun catchy music. That is all.

Tthe Fall are much better band anyway.

ubershep (May 14, 2005)

"Vice magazine's gonna make a fortune. Fuck this dancey emo album. If you wanna listen to dance music, get some Madonna or Prince. This shit is for people with big egos who do cocaine."

Like Madonna and Princ never did cocaine.

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

i had never heard of this band until a friend gave me a free ticket and asked me to go to their show at the metro. they completely sold the place out, and it was 18 too. its beyond me why though, because like someone said, they were just faceless indie rock and bored me to tears. they'll fade out just as quickly as the white stripes/vines garage rock revival.

Cos (May 13, 2005)

One morning before Coachella, an LA DJ played Gang of Four and Bloc Party back-to-back. They sounded like the same band. It was rad.

--Cos

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

ElVaq: the thing is that these dance-indie bands don't actually sound like Gang of Four, it's just a lazy reviewer's comparison used because Gang of Four is the only early post-punk band most people these days recognise. Gang of Four made chaotic, structureless soundscapes while bands like this are totally focussed on trite melodies and are completely predictable. The main similarity is the guitar tone. If you want to compare the sound of one of the millions of similar bands of this type right now to a Leeds band from around 1980, it shouldn't be Gang of Four - something like the Mekons or the Au Pairs would be more appropriate.

tylerdurden8136 (May 13, 2005)

amazing album.

review was spot on.

dustindiamond (May 13, 2005)

review = YEAH!

libertines comment = what the fuck are you talking about?

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

Vice magazine's gonna make a fortune. Fuck this dancey emo album. If you wanna listen to dance music, get some Madonna or Prince. This shit is for people with big egos who do cocaine.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

"everything in music is derivative to another band, just fucking face it already.....don't judge a band on "who they sound like" "

Huzzah for genercism then. Excuse me whilst I go rock out to Status Quo. Or Good Charlotte or something. I don't know.

Bloc Party are another faceless indie band at a time when faceless indie bands are all the rage, for some inexpliccable reason. Enjoy it while it lasts, I guess, but I hope you realise that you'll get bugger all for this album when you're trying to shift it on eBay in a year's time.

ElVaquero (May 13, 2005)

For the guy who's sick of this band being compared to Gang Of Four-> It's not that people are saying that they're better than Gang Of Four, but a lot of that style that you talked about being invented by GOF is being copped by Bloc Party. Not comparing them to GOF would almost be ignorant of where the band's major influences are.

Libertines? Commercial? Not really, blame the hype machine for them getting huge, not their musical style.

I don't know if my review's going to be run, but see the band live.

ElVaquero (May 13, 2005)

Whoops, I saw that no one reviewed this and submitted a review last week. I gave it a 7.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

"even though they are not as outwardly commercial as Franz / Razorlight / the Libertines"

Dude Bloc Party are all over the place...all over the radio and MTV..they got huge in a short amount of time

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

everything in music is derivative to another band, just fucking face it already.....don't judge a band on "who they sound like"

judge them on their music, not their influences

best cd of the year so far IMO

stevejonestherealbones (May 13, 2005)

"jones: this comment is just based on your liking of dfl, but, to me, the bloc party is really boring. standard pop slop."

yeah, i'm kinda guessing that i might find the one song fun, but then a whole album of it might not be a good idea

- jones

SkolarX (May 13, 2005)

go buy the gang of 4 retrospective and see where these guys and franz and all the other bands like this are stealing their material from. its catchy but not that good from the few songs i've heard

rkl (May 13, 2005)

jones: this comment is just based on your liking of dfl, but, to me, the bloc party is really boring. standard pop slop.

stevejonestherealbones (May 13, 2005)

i'm glad you called him on it guy below me. i was about to

- jones

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

"I like bands that have their own sound, these guys don't.

my 2 cents"

I can say with 100% accuracy that most of the bands you listen to do not have "their own sound". Especially if you frequent a punk music website.

stevejonestherealbones (May 13, 2005)

ok, i have a question. i really like that banquet song....based on that, should i give the whole album a try, or should i jack off to something else insted? like an insted album

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

shadydeals (May 13, 2005)

This CD is awesome. Probably my favorite of the year so far.

From the interviews I've read, the band members are all down to earth and very appreciative of the fan support, good press, and good fotrune they've had.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

At first I was turned off by all the hype, plus it just didn't seem like music I would be into. I heard a song or two off the album, though, and decided to go out and get it.
It's amazing and I love it...It's been a while since a band has felt this interesting and addictive to me.

Crookedsuperhero (May 13, 2005)

The difference between this and Franz is that this sounds good.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

What the fuck? You can't dismiss them as hipster shit? Why the hell not? Does that mean The Libertines aren't just an overhyped pub-rock band? Does that mean that Franz Ferdinand are now original and sincere? Bollocks to that. They all are.

The only thing that seperates these guys from the rest of those nu-new wave gits we've been swamped with in the UK recently is that the drummer doesn't act like he's slipped into a coma at the start of the song. It's bog-standard indie pap, but since they look like a bunch of art-school rejects, the NME decided to tell everyone that these guys were the saviours of rock 'n roll, or whatever shit they try and pull these days.

If someone here goes and gives Kaiser Chiefs a good review, I'll cry. Bitter, bitter tears.

Inspection12e (May 13, 2005)

Great Great cd.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

great band great cd

banquet makes me want to jump around and play air guitar:D

mjg (May 13, 2005)

muy bien

Crookedsuperhero (May 13, 2005)

I'm really diggin' this album. The Pioneers is such a great song.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

pretty good

some of the guitars remind me of the appleseed cast

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

this should make a conscious music fans "best-of" list this year.
-TOBB

xmidipunkbastardx (May 13, 2005)

great record, hands down.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

yet you compare them to gang of four...interesting....

i like bloc party. they do, in face, bring the "party"

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

Thank you for not comparing them to Gang of Four. Bloc Party is a decent enough band, but when someone throws Gang of Four's name into a description of them it makes me instinctually think less of them because, let's face it, they're nowhere near as interesting or inventive as Gang of Four.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

very strong album. don't dismiss it just cause they are the most hyped band of recent memory.

-benz

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

I like bands that have their own sound, these guys don't.

my 2 cents

ubershep (May 13, 2005)

great band. too bad many people write them off as "hipster shit" when they are quite the polar opposite

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

ex cellent, especially the first song

aubin (May 13, 2005)

A really great record.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go