Monday, February 11, 2008

Bloc Party-Silent Alarm

Several years ago we became inundated with dance-punk bands from England. Now some of these "post-punk revial" groups were pretty decent (Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads) and some were DOA (Maximo Park, The Kaiser Chiefs). Bloc Party fall into the "pretty decent" group but none of these bands can hold a candle to the late-70's/early-80's bands they were influenced by.

Silent Alarm, which came out in 2005, is Bloc Party's debut record and it's not bad. It's sounds good and is nice to listen to. Make no mistake though, this isn't some art collective, they are "Modern Rock" through and through. The production is clean and minimal, all the tracks are catchy and primed for radio. Which is part of the problem. For a band aping Post-Punk, this record comes off as just a little too nice sounding.

The bands that Bloc Party are obviously influenced by (Gang Of Four, Public Image Ltd., A Certain Ratio and The Pop Group) were all blatantly political and scratchy and experimental, none of which you'll find on Silent Alarm. I get a vague "things aren't all too peachy right now" vibe in their lyrics but nothing specific or really angry comes out in the lyrics. They probably didn't want to upset any yankee radio programmers. I guess what i'm trying to say is that this record seems like a very calculated product made by an ambitious band meant to break out of the Indie Rock ghetto. So if you want a catchy rock band who have some perfectly nice tunes, some of which you can even dance then check this record out. But if you're looking for legitimate, art-damaged Post-Punk check out Bloc Party's influences and give this disc to your little sister.

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