Bloc Party
Silent Alarm


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Ashtray Girl USER (17 Reviews)
February 21st, 2005 | 449 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

The Band:

Kele Okereke – Vocals, Guitar
Gordon Moakes – Bass
Russell Lissack – Guitar
Matt Tong – Drums

Review:

Bloc Party, Bloc Party, Bloc Party. If you’re at all aware of the British indie rock scene, you will know that this band is being talked about like no one else at the moment. NME worships the ground they walk on, every indie station in Britain is trying to trace how long they’ve been pushing the band for and they have even graduated into the mainstream press. Most bands would kill for this kind of publicity. Hailed as ‘the next big thing’ by more sources than I care to count, Bloc Party had caused so much of a stir just by EPs and singles that their entry into the UK album chart at #3 surprised almost no one.

Already our very own Alt/Indie forum is sick to death of Bloc Party threads, and yet the album was only released on Valentine’s Day.

The band’s progress is almost unstoppable now. Yes, they will be the next big thing unless something utterly bizarre happens; they’re already so far along that road it seems inevitable.

So we have rising Britrock stars, ‘the next Franz Ferdinand’ and NME darlings. It’s certainly not an instant seal of musical greatness, is it? Still, let’s give them a chance over the course of this review, as for their genre they’ve produced some might fine singles.

The album kicks off with one of them – Like Eating Glass. Driving guitars, a spiky chorus and echoing lyrics make for a catchy yet atmospheric track that certainly gets the album off to a good start. Next we zoom on in to Helicopter, which has all the qualities of the British indie rock scene these days crammed into 3:40. Melodic backing vocals, neat little guitar riffs and disjointed vocals abound here. Some strange noises at the beginning catch your attention on the third track – Positive Tension, but it ends up following a reasonably similar pattern. All of three of these songs are well-written, catchy and nice to listen to, even if they are nothing extraordinarily different from what you’ve heard before.

Next we hit Banquet, which is often touted as the best of the songs that were played before the launch of the album. You can see why, the riff alone makes a lot of people pay attention. Okereke’s vocals are wonderful here; he really begins to show that his voice is actually quite soulful.

Suddenly the tempo and mood drops down with Blue Light, a gorgeous gem of a song that’s simple yet so effective. A definite grower, I like it more every time I listen to it.

Then we move into a really fantastic song – She’s Hearing Voices. A wonderful drumbeat and a very interesting melody, it’s a pretty irresistible track even if Okereke’s usual crystal-clear lyrical delivery does descend into slurriness and muttering.

This Modern Love and The Pioneers draw you further into Bloc Party’s clutches as you find yourself forgetting about all the hype, all the expectation and all the predictions and just listening to the music. Then another great track comes in – The Price Of Gasoline. More moody, atmospheric stuff with a great, slightly insane outburst sandwiched into the verses.

Then we have So Here We Are. A magnificent indie ballad, it swoops and soars from guitars and beautiful vocals into your ears. A rippling riff and subdued vocals make up the majority of the song, which is all perfectly nice to listen to until suddenly Okereke breaks out with a euphoric, triumphant ‘I figured it out!’ that takes the song onto a whole new level. It’s not very surprising this has been their most successful single to date.

After that comes Luno, which was weaker but still shows quite a good ear on the band’s part for soundscapes. Plans picks up the pace again with a good rhythm section going. We then reach the last song on the album, Compliments. Yet again, more great atmosphere is created and the vocals only really appear as a little decoration in the background. That’s possibly a little too drastic here, but when the guitar comes in it pulls the track up considerably. This certainly isn’t the type of track you’d expect to find here.

So, the short answer to the question that a lot of people are asking lately is yes, the Bloc Party album is good, and does fit with the expectations people had of it. No, it’s not revolutionary, but it’s a fine piece of work nonetheless and some of it is very beautiful.

Recommended Tracks:

Like Eating Glass
Banquet
She’s Hearing Voices
Blue Light
So Here We Are
Compliments

Rating: 4/5



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user ratings (1249)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Taichi (4.5)
So Cool!...

Winesburgohio (5)
I'd pay for music this good any time....

(3.5)
Silent Alarm is a great album that shows a band that has massive amounts of potential but can’t qu...

Adam Turner-Heffer (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Little Man being Erased
February 21st 2005


87 Comments


Nice review. I agree pretty much completely with what you said. I would give it a 4/5 after my first listen.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
February 22nd 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool band, shame about the terrible cover art.

Adam Jones is GOD
February 22nd 2005


113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First indie album of this year that i've instantly gone out and bought, and fell straight in love with. And the fact they all look like big nerds makes me feel happy too

Little Man being Erased
February 22nd 2005


87 Comments


The cover art isn't too bad. It's not great either, but hey.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 10th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

meh, it's just horribly cliche. All the newish British bands have the same looking album covers. Look at the cover of this:

http://www.swr3.de/__pix/cover/500x435/10195.jpg

They look so similar. Not that it affects the music, but I think they could have done much better.

And Ashtray, you are wierd for not putting This Modern Love as a reccomended song. Along with 'Compliments', that is the best on the album.

waylander
March 12th 2005


1 Comments


I like this cd. This modern love is one of the best songs on it. The cd is full of great songs. I like also the cover art. I give the album 5/5

Bloc Party rulez !!

El_Scrimpo
March 13th 2005


1 Comments


I have to agree about the cover art, I think an album cover reflects the music, and I would describe this cover as drab and cold, not how I'd want my music labelled.

Little Man being Erased
March 17th 2005


87 Comments


Maybe they were going for a massive contrast. :p

SaintJimmySavage
April 19th 2005


8 Comments


I loved this album but my only complaint is that it's very repetitive. Great review.

woofwoofwoof
May 26th 2005


156 Comments


like eating glass and positive tension are the best

captain chris
May 27th 2005


73 Comments


Another band i feel ppl like cause they think they shud! Bloc Party r one of the better British Rock bands out at the mo, but i still dont think the r anything different to what i have heard before!

smooches xxx

pinksideofthefloyd
June 27th 2005


3 Comments


to be honest, we all know the best thing about this album is Matt Tong's drumming. Am I right or what?

Sep
June 28th 2005


297 Comments


I just got this album and I love it. The dual guitar parts are incredible and the drumming makes the songs so much fun.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 28th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but i still dont think the r anything different to what i have heard before!


They're not, they're just better than everyone else.

Damrod
Moderator
July 28th 2005


1093 Comments


I must confess, when I heard their first single back in the day, I did not like it at all. And I could not understand why here in Germany all people made such a fuzz about Bloc Party. But after listening to Pioneers, I got curious and after checking out the full album earlier this week I'm quite happy I did.

I have not listened enough to it though to give a balanced rating, that will come later

Iai
Emeritus
July 28th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still irks me that Little Thoughts wasn't put on the album.

Tenfootbrett
August 11th 2005


149 Comments


I saw them live... they were utterly terrible. The song was boring, I think, and the singer was just BRUTAL. The instrumentals had no flair or any extra kick live... This entire genre bores me. but have fun with it!

Cross Out The Eyes
August 14th 2005


42 Comments


does any one now a rar for this
if so e-mail me at
meteora311@comcast.net

Iai
Emeritus
August 14th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They were pretty good when I saw them, save a few timing issues with the drummer.

incubliss
August 14th 2005


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Little Thoughts wasn't put on the album because it was too upbeat. It doesn't fit in at all with the album. (They did say about releasing another EP this year, where it would go on with a few new songs)

Same reason why The Groove wasn't on Absolution, there's just nowhere to put it.

Silent Alarm is fantastic, and I still listen to it now. I recieved my copy in the form of a copied disk, about 2 months beforehand. I listened to it everyday up until the release, really addicted to the album. There's also a secret track on the disk too. Either rewind from the beginning, or fast forward at the end. They're great live too.

4.5/5



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