Saturday, October 06, 2012

Bloc Party - Like Eating Glass

A bit of unfashionable nostalgia here, but this is the first track off one of my favorite albums of the early 2000s. They're still around and apparently have a new album out called 4, but I haven't heard it. But the first album, Silent Alarm was a monster. Pretty much every song off the album kicked ass.

My review (from 2005!) of the album can be read here. But in case you're too lazy to go the link, here it is:

Like many of their contemporaries (and indeed, much of what passes for the popular end of non-mainstream music these days), Bloc Party are firmly derivative. And that's really another bigger story about why this is so. Why are the "hip" guitar-based bands of today, to the very last one, all copies of replicas of imitations of tributes? So, really, in order to properly evaluate Bloc Party, you have to already begin from the assumption that what they (and Franz Ferdinand, Art Brut, Radio 4, the Strokes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, !!!, Arctic Monkeys and all these millions of shitty bands) are doing has been done, done, done before. Working within that context, Bloc Party are pretty good. Appealing to an '80s vision of high energy guitar-based pop, they write good melodies and kick some ass, combining the two in a euphoric rush in songs such as "Like Eating Glass," the opening and best track on this album. The rest of the album really doesn't catch up after that, but it doesn't get boring either; in song after song, they steer their muse from soft ballads to four-on-the-floor power pop wrapped in catchy melodies and the aspiration of saying something "deep" (which they don't). But I really like them. They recreate a fond memory of some sort of imagined nostalgia without being too regressive and they do it quite well. I saw them in concert on September 9, 2005 here in New York and they were loud, the drums of  "Like Eating Glass" reverberating loudly through the auditorium. The whole show was a manic pop thrill, guitars moving through speed and melody for an hour-and-a-half. If you like somewhat intelligent melodic power pop, pick this up. As a sidenote, they had this album remixed by a number of artists such as M83, Four Tet, and people like that. According to some, the remix album (Silent Alarm Revisited) is as good if not better than the original album.

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