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More than another group of wannabes hoofing together the latest trendy noise, Bloc Party are a ridiculously sophisticated outfit and Silent Alarm is a most gratifying piece of aural amusement.
Lisa Coen, 25 Jan 2005
It’s a pleasure to see that, a year after we first asked who they were, we can now cite Franz Ferdinand as a major influence on the next generation of krautrock indie bands. More than another group of wannabes hoofing together the latest trendy noise, however, Bloc Party are a ridiculously sophisticated outfit and Silent Alarm is a most gratifying piece of aural amusement.
Gordon Moakes’ captivating vocals, at times reminiscent of Robert Smith, are sheer delight when coupled with the class tunes on offer like the stomping ‘’So Here We Are’ or the sexy, mellow ‘Blue Light’.
There are songs in here like ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ that you can actually dance to as well, not a luxury always afforded to the indie kids (“Hey throw on some Vic Chestnut there and we’ll have an old jive...”).
Taking up the baton of the recent rush of artists reminding us that good things did come out of the ’80s, Bloc Party’s synthy, heavy drum and strangled-cat guitar sound is probably all the more enjoyable for its pertinent timeliness, but we won’t quibble, as Waits would have it, it’s new, it’s improved, it’s old-fashioned. That is to say, that while it’s for the most part original and innovative, Silent Alarm’s influences are fairly obvious; some Talking Heads and more than a smattering of Franz, the combination of which makes for a sound that at times evokes The Killers, but in a more intelligent way.
The absolute show-stealer is opening track ‘Like Eating Glass’. Whether Bloc Party do the business or implode along the way, this is a song that people will be playing in the wee hours for a long time.
Rather teasingly, alas, Silent Alarm is as yet not available to mere mortals, and if you weren’t one of the few to get tickets to their upcoming sold-out Whelan’s visit, then you’ll have to content yourself with waiting ‘til February to get your hands on it.