Jen's Music Review
Bloc Party: Four
Bloc Party are back with a bang. The boys' aptly titled fourth studio record follows on from the English indie-rockers' extended hiatus after 2008's critically acclaimed Intimacy. Apart, Kele Okereke (vocals/rhythm guitar) released solo material (The Boxer and The Hunter), Russell Lissack (lead guitar) revived his side project Pin Me Down and toured as a guitarist with Ash, Gordon Moakes (bass/backing volcals) formed a band called Young Legionnaire with Paul Mullen (The Automatic) and William Bowerman (La Roux), whilst Matt Tong (drums) kicked back for a breather. The quartet were prompted to rekindle their singular musical kinship by an imaginative impetus inspired by a dramatic year in world events. Teaming up with producer Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) at Stratosphere Studios in NYC, the band set aside digital and studio cosmetics in favour of a rehearsal room, their instruments, and the magic of their innate creative chemistry. The results are somewhat of a return to tradition. The band's indie-goodness on the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Silent Alarm (2005) shifted to an electronic sound on A Weekend In The City (2007) and Intimacy (2008) with processed drumbeats and loops, synths, brass sections and choral arrangements. On this release lead vocalist Okereke seems to have purged all his dance frustrations out on his solo material, allowing Bloc to return to basics. Four is strikingly impressive - from the heaviness of Kettling and menacing whispers of 3X3 to the tenderness of Real Talk and languor of The Healing. Coliseum features a Black Keys flavour before thrusting into a metal-like riff, whilst the rawness of Team A is reminiscent of the tracks featured on their debut. Four is not only the title of the album - it also signifies four talented musicians who melt together beautifully.
Spotify Playlist Recommendation:
The Dø: Too Insistent. Purity Ring: Obedear. When Saints Go Machine: Kelly. Daughter: Youth. Holy Fu*k: Stay Lit. Passion Pit: It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy. Tennis: Marathon. Class Actress: Let Me Take You Out. Emmy The Great: Paper Forest - In The Afterglow of Rapture. The Staves: Mexico. Rachel Sermanni: Breathe Easy. Emily and the Woods: Steal His Heart.
Some old, some new - the aforementioned tracks are continually floating through my earphones at the minute.
Videos to check out:
The 1975, The City: www.youtube.com/user/The1975music
Pulled Apart By Horses, Bromance Ain't Dead: www.youtube.com/user/PulledApartByHorses
Ben Kweller, Jealous Girl: www.youtube.com/user/benkweller
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brendan's Death Song: www.youtube.com/user/RHCPtv
Rumer, Sara Smile: www.youtube.com/user/rumerofficial
Smiler, Top Of The World ft. Professor Green & Tawiah: www.youtube.com/user/smilertv
Rebecca & Fiona, If She Was Away: www.youtube.com/user/UltraRecords
Santigold, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh (22 August)
Fearless Vampire Killers, King Tut's, Glasgow (23 August)
Tango in the Attic, King Tut's, Glasgow (25 August)
Saves The Day, King Tut's, Glasgow (26 August)
Bush, O2 ABC, Glasgow (28 August)
Grimes, Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh (28 August)
Kimbra, "ran Mór, Glasgow (31 August)
Deap Vally, Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow (4 September)
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 22 Aug 12
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