Bloc Party: Silent Alarm

Every other day or so, the British music press likes to jump on a new band and quickly, without proper reason or justification, label them the “next big thing.” Last year a band they jumped on that did pan out was Franz Ferdinand. I brought them up because I bought the CD last year, listened to it for an entire day and haven’t listened to it since. Bloc Party is another band the press has jumped on and for good reason too. In March, they released their debut album, Silent Alarm. They can be compared to Franz Ferdinand in a sense because you can’t help tapping your foot or shaking your head while listening.

The difference is that lead singer, Kele Okereke actually sings, opposed to Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos who merely just talks. The best songs on the album, “Banquet,” “Positive Tension,” and “Luno” are all filled with erratic guitars, drums, and vocals which make every listen compelling to figure out how it all fits together. In fact, “Banquet” is such an intense song that I will be surprised if it is not heard everywhere this summer. The opening riff shoots from ear to ear and throws you around a little until Okereke yells “I’m on fire!” which would make any burnt-out stoner tap a foot to in appreciation.

It’s too good of a song not to listen to over and over again. The album is very good; however it is not an excellent one. It is marred by slow songs such as, “Blue Light” and “Modern Love.” When I say slow, I mean boring. They seemingly tried to make the album a mix of fast and slow songs to give it a nice shift back and forth. I don’t want to be slowed down while listening to this and at times I do. Silent Alarm has lasted much longer than Franz Ferdinand’s debut album. “Banquet” alone makes the album worth checking out; I just hope I don’t get sick of it.