on 15 March 2007
This is astounding music. Energetic but calming, spikey but ethereal.
At it's essence it is pop music, but it has an intelligence to it that cannot be overlooked. And surprisingly for a British guitar band, it isn't a rye, 'knowing' type of intelligence. Yes, Kele Okereke and his band take themselves very seriously, and yes they do look like archetypal students, but this debut is proof that they are making some the most sophisticated guitar pop in music today. The new album has a slightly bigger sound, and the themes are more urban. This album is different, the cover-art captures the shimmeringly austere sounds that are burned onto the disc.
One of my favourite records of the past 5 years.
on 26 September 2005
i think this album is superlative. it's raw, it's edgy, it's fusion, there are so many influences at work in this album that it's exhilarating to hear - you know that the musicians have listened to a lot of different music, and they have a lot of ideas. it's original, it's interesting, it's honest, it's very very british, seeming to come from that same ska-punk-fusion late 70s-early 80s approach, if not the sound (kele okereke's voice has the 'punk' sound, but the rest of the music crosses boundaries, some of the drumming sounding drum-and-bassish without ever falling into the trap) - there are bits of this album which make me think of kate bush at her finest moments, as strange as it may sound - totally original, thoughtful, serious, dedicated, visionary, idiosyncratic musicianship, never flawless (but who wants flawless?) - an excellent album, on first hearing i felt that a couple of the last tracks were noticeably weaker than the rest of the album, although i love the final track (compliments). the album works as a whole since the more melodic tracks act as relief against the harsher sounding, deep tracks with heavy bass and crazy guitar riffs and drum battering and these keening vocals wailing over the top. i don't listen to hype, i'm not into any one scene, i have a wide variety of tastes and in my opinion this is a great album. and i don't like franz ferdinand.
on 20 February 2006
"Have you heard any Bloc Party?"
"No, who do they sound like?"
Bloc Party have produced an excellent album here. Edgy opener 'Like Eating Glass' sets the tone, with Kele Okerere's unique voice grabbing your attention immediately. Songs such as 'Helicopter' (which is becoming a bit of a cult classic - at least where I am!) and 'Luno' show off some thoroughly individual-sounding, upbeat indie, whilst the slower songs, particularly 'This Modern Love', are very relaxing, somewhat romantic and prove some versatility.
Lyrics are also great - again, 'Helicopter' stands out, as it's an effective, wry and subtle attack on George W. Bush, and also 'Price of Gasoline', an angry anti-Iraq war message ("The price of gas keeps on rising/Nothing comes for free").
Bloc Party show intelligence, enthusiasm and a unique sound - let's hope for more British music like this, to save of from some of the very poor music being hyped at the moment.
on 15 August 2005
When i first heard of Bloc Party, i thought they would be a small understated group who produced average music. On buying the album i didnt expect that much, despite the hype. After listening to the album several times it dawned on me that this group really were something special. Each track is sprawling with raw energy and edge. There is so much determination and ambition in these songs that i know they are going to get bigger and bigger.
In my oppinion, Bloc Party are the most talented new indie band, with such a diverse and individual sound, they are set for a long and successfull career contributing more fantastic music to the brittish scene. Expect big things, and make sure you have a copy of thsi album. When you need cheering up, or just feel really excited... stick this on and jump around the room to the raw sound of %100 pure indie rock!
on 20 July 2005
From the moment I put silent alarm into my cd player and the thumping opener 'like eating glass' almost blew my speakers i knew i would love this album. Its the drummer, matt, who really drives this record, his drumming often quite extraordinary. For a first album this is a massive achievement, effortlessly mixing anthemic rock songs (banquet, helicopter), towering and beautiful epic tracks (so here we are, this modern love, pioneers) and insanely frenetic songs which leave you slightly dazed but in a good way (price of gasoline, she's hearing voices). Talk of filler in some reviews is only true at the albums closing moments, the only obstacle to silent alarm being a true classic. This is though, easily the best debut of the year and leaves the listener salivating for more.
on 18 May 2005
With the upcoming release of Bloc Party's second album, I thought I might give a review of the album after a long period of reflection, just for all of you have still not bought it yet (why not?!).
My opinion (as it was the first time I heard the opening to "Like Eating Glass") is that this is the freshest, most exciting debut of recent years. The pumping bass and frenetic drums set the pace for this album, essentially providing the bundled-up nervous energy that fuels it, whilst the guitar gives a very different feel from most (if not all) "indie" albums I can call to mind. This musical ensemble provides the perfect backdrop to the desperation of these most haunting of lyrics, and the result is, in most cases, perfection itself (except, for me, Luno, Plans and Compliments, which, whilst not out of place, are certainly not as accomplished pieces).
For the sake of interest, my favourite track is "Like Eating Glass".
As for a recommendation, I would suggest this album to anyone, and, provided you're willing to make an investment in it (i.e. listen to it repeatedly), it should at some stage dawn on you that this is one of the most beautiful achievements in modern music.
However, a word of warning: this is not a band to be lumped in with your Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinands - this is clever, arty music, which may make difficult listening for some. Some of the criticism of Bloc Barty as just another one of those indie bands is misplaced - you must bear in mind that, despite having gone platinum in the UK, Bloc Party are a very leftfield band, and whilst their music is terrific, it is music for art's sake, not necessarily designed to be for general consumption.
Oh, and this is still my favourite record of all time, yet to be eclipsed in my view by their second (which, yes, I have had on repeat for the last three weeks), although this may change as I listen to it more than Silent Alarm.
9.5 stars out of ten, only because of the inferior quality of the last three tracks.
Why haven't you bought it yet?!?!
on 31 March 2005
I have to admit that i have only started getting into the british rock music scene and this is the 1st cd that i have bought that isnt an american pop?punk or punk rock group other than than the killers whos album i also own and think it is amazing. But i can honestly say that this is one of the best albums i own. It sems to me to have its own sound which is good. The melodic guitars that run over eachother create there own unique sound and this record also contains some amazing drum parts. Each song is good in its own way.
Like eating glass - 8.5/10 - Great opener to the cd. Suprised it hasnt been released as a single.
Helicopter - 8/10 - Agood song with very good guitar parts
Positive Tension - 9/10 - Amazing song. It kind of builds up throughout the song and ends with some amazing guitar work
Banquet 9/10 - Kind of has a bouncy feel to it with the two guitars almost echoing off eachother. Great chorus in this song.
Blue Light - 7/10 - A real laidback song i feel. Still quite good. One to listen to when your relaxed.
Shes Hearing Voices -8.5/10 - Very different from anything i've heard. The verse does remind me of elvis presley for some reason. Still a great song though.
This Modern Love 10/10 - Best song on the album. Also contains the best lyrics as well. Its just so melodic and just sticks in your head.
The Pioneers -8/10 - A good song, nothing wrong with it at all.
Price of Gasoline - 6/10- This song doesnt really work for me. I like the into at the beginning of the song.
So here we are - 8/10- A good quiet but very melodic song. KInd of gives the song a haunting feel with the echo on the vocals.
Luno - 7.5/10 - Good fast song. Very upbeat, you cant help but nod your head to it.
Plans - 8/10 - Was my 2nd favourite when i 1st listened to it. Good lyrics as well in this song.
Compliments - Great way to end the album. Very melodic and quiet again. It stays in your head.
This band has introduced me into more music other than your blink 182, alkaline trio, the ataris ans so on. Any one can enjoy this album and i urge any real music fan to get it. It will be money well spent.I hope and think that Bloc party have a very promising future ahead of them.
on 30 January 2005
Its only January and already we have a contender for Album and band of 2005!!!! Silent Alarm is a gem of an album - anyone who loves art-rock or post-punk will surely love this album. They have not just reinvented the wheel; bloc party have rewritten the whole genre in cintilating fashion. They have taken the post-punk/garage rock template and added lots of different soundscapes which are expansive and the songs have many layers and effects; with some very stylish guitar sounds. Kele has one of those voices that is so versatile - one minute he sounds like Damon Albarn only with more venom and vitrol in his voice the next he sounds like Robert Smith from The Cure on some of the more intimate songs like This Modern Love; which is so beautiful it would melt even the coldest of hearts. The lyrics are both political and personal but very intelligent and well thought out. There is so much energy and passion on this album - highlights include Eating Glass; Banquet; This Modern Love and Price of Gas. I havent listened to a band with this much conviction for many a year - If you thought Franz Ferdinand were the future sound of Indie music think again Bloc Party have just stolen their crown!!!
on 16 February 2005
Ok, for starters, why, WHY? would you give Bloc Party's Silent Alarm 1 star?? WHY?? Anyway, secondly, this album is inspiring. Sure they may have been hyped up a bit too much, but still this album doesn't dissappoint (well, for me it didn't). Kele's voice is not bad, he isnt the best singer, but it's the emotion he puts behind it... not to mention the pretty outstanding lyrics. It's an original album! Emo, indie, pop-rock, you've got that all here, so maybe that's why you lot didn't like it, cos of it's diversity. Awesome album just missing out on the 5 stars, and one of the most important LP's of this year probably.
on 25 March 2006
When i first heard this album, i thought it was massively overrated. After a few listens, i found the album coming back to me during the day. Its amazing, and Playing guitar, Russel Lissacks style interests me hugely. I love Keles voice and lyrics, they are introspective and intelligent yet often anthemic. The drumming is good, particularly on opener "like eating glass". I Love most of the songs on this album. Some of them make you want to move, others are breathtakingly beautiful. Bloc party are a band that take themselves seriously, and they arent a fad. Unlike Kaiserchiefs, they are here to stay. Not in the charts necessarily, but that was never their intention.
This album is not to be missed, but needs a few listens. An awesome debut.