The breakout new artist of the year and authors of one of the most acclaimed debut albums this decade, the internationally championed Bloc Party exploded into the US with five shows at the 2005 South By Southwest music festival before criss-crossing the country three times including headlining stages at Coachella and Austin City Limits. Following every move were journalists and blogs and diehard fans inspired by a shared belief in great rock music and legendary live shows.
This is the rare young group that's legitimately protean. Silent Alarm contains moments of post-punk skronk and Head On The Door-era new wave radio music, sociopolitical song-fragments reminiscent of Blur at their most thoughtful, and anthemic pieces that defy description. "Banquet" will give you a pretty good idea of what all the fuss is about. You get angular, back-and-forth guitars, telegraphic riffs, intelligent hyper-aware lyrics, a butter-smooth chorus, sudden stops, countermelodies, a relentless pile-driver of a bridge, and a chanted outro in which Kele Okereke's desperate vocals play laser tag with Russell Lissack's whammied-out lead.
It's easy to root for these guys Ã¢Â€Â“ and not just because their fusion of post-punk urgency and Britpop tunefulness is so intoxicating. Bloc Party has something that their dance-rock peers lack: a social conscience. For a chart-topper, Silent Alarm is surprisingly polemical. Many of its tracks take an explicit and well-articulated progressive stance, and the band's condemnation of military solutions Ã¢Â€Â“ and, by extension, laddish aggressiveness Ã¢Â€Â“ pervades the set. Songs such as "Helicopter" and "Price Of Gas" are remarkably direct and unflinching in their critique, and are written in the terse, stingingly poetic voice of a prophetic true believer. Yet singer Kele Okereke is energetic and optimistic enough that the group's politics never get in the way of the groove- rarely has a pop band made intelligent social commentary so irresistibly danceable.
KELE OKEREKE - Vocals & Guitar
GORDAN MOAKES - Bass
RUSSELL LISSACK - Guitar
MATT TONG - Drums
Life Is a Highway (From "Cars"/Official Video)
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