Bloc Party - Silent Alarm Remixed (Cover Artwork)

Bloc Party

Silent Alarm Remixed (2005)


Do British kids just sit around all day writing hooks? The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, and Bloc Party seem to be the forefront of a sudden modern "dance punk" movement, and it feels as if their songs are carefully crafted to make you clap your hands and hum along. Whatever the Brits are concocting in their basements, it seems to be a recipe for success, as their popularity seems to be growing exponentially. Earlier this year, Bloc Party released their first full-length, Silent Alarm, and received a slew of heavy compliments from the blog community and Pitchfork Media. Some felt this was undeserved and that the band, like many others members of this new movement, was shamelessly mimicking the Gang of Four (the band they claim to have never listened to up until being compared to them). And while they may or may not sound very similar to the Gang of Four (my opinion on the matter seems unimportant) you should at least check your comparisons at the door for now, because Silent Alarm Remixed goes in a totally different direction.

Another thing the British seem to love nowadays just as much as fresh and shiny hooks are techno dance clubs. And with that passion in mind, this remix album was born. The members of Bloc Party actually had very little to do with this release. Their songs were sent around and remixed by a number of different artists. The result is a release that is just as good if not better than the original Silent Alarm.

The CD starts out with a Ladytron Zapatista remix of "Like Eating Glass," and instead of the song starting out with guitar teetering and a loud drum introduction, it appears with a slower, less rollicking tempo, delicate synth and string orchestrations, and vocalist Kele Okereke's coos and croons. It's an interesting take on one of Silent Alarm's more rocking songs, but fear not because Whitey, Blackbox, and Phones strike back with stripped apart, spiced up techno edits of "Helicopter," "Positive Tension," and "Banquet." Other songs of note, if you're just browsing the record, are the Mogwai remix of "Plans" and the Death from Above 1979 "remix" (it's actually a cover) of "Luno."

Unfortunately, if you weren't a fan of Bloc Party before, this album is not likely to convert you. It's much more interesting from the perspective of a person who liked Silent Alarm to hear how some of the songs are rearranged, and perhaps you'll even grow fonder of the remixes than the original versions (the "This Modern Love" remix blows the original out of the water). For those of you who did enjoy Silent Alarm, I highly recommend this release, and for those of you who didn't I recommend you go make some sort of sammich…those always make me happy.