Bloc Party
Silent Alarm

Wichita
2005
A+
Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2005-02-14



Posted 02/14/2005 - 08:10:40 AM by aaron_n:
 who did you feel you could care about 8 years ago?
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 10:01:16 AM by crzymdups:
 radiohead....duh, aaron.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 10:16:56 AM by mrwindupbird:
 Though I hate to bring up the whole Pitchforkmedia versus Stylus thing (both are good sites, good music magazines), but comparing this review to the Pitchfork review shows everything that is currently right with Stylus and and everything that is currently wrong with Pitchfork.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 10:23:40 AM by NickSouthall:
 I've never "cared" about Radiohead.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 11:51:06 AM by vsvsvs:
 This album just isn't _that_ great, especially not as great as certain publications are making it out to be. Sure, it's a competant debut album, but it is overlong, sprawling and lacks any kind of cohesive tightness that would make it a solid and enjoyable listen. I know Bloc Party are next "big thing", and their progress from their inital singles and EPs has been staggering... but we can't build up every single promising new band like this... otherwise they will never strive to better themselves and create something better the next time around. I'm not saying we should criticise every new band for being new, but we should watch ourselves in heaping praise upon new acts with albums that will probably not sound as great in 12 months time... just remember how very bland and uninspired "Franz Ferdinand" sounds now
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 02:05:29 PM by aaron_n:
 "I've never "cared" about Radiohead." It's definitely the Soupdragons then.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 02:05:58 PM by NickSouthall:
 Kula Shaker!
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 02:47:43 PM by ddrake:
 I quite like this album. Good review.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 03:27:35 PM by idunnowhy:
 how is this different than the pitchfork review? both writers compare Bloc Party to a bunch of british groups then give the album a high score.....
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 03:58:25 PM by brente:
 best rock album of the year so far? um, it's february. that's like saying george bush was the best u.s. president elected last year.
 
Posted 02/14/2005 - 10:03:18 PM by pinchworm:
 They're promising, and it's a decent album, but it's not *that* good. As much as I like it, and I'm glad that there is some cream to this 80's revivalist crop, the most you can say at this point is that they have great potential. A little backlash would be a good thing, as vsvsvs says.
 
Posted 02/15/2005 - 04:21:00 AM by theheightstx:
 No, actually in "she's hearing voices" kele does in fact say "red pill, blue pill". Thus, giving a nod to the Wachowski's. The band may quote Bertrand Russel, etc. but in reality they are just reshashing the post punk sound (sounding authentic yes, i would say overly polished myself but that's just a matter of personal opinion)but replacing say Gang of Four's settings of class conflict and mass spectacle with lines from mega blockbuster films.

I do believe this is a decent band, but i can't for the life of me understand the amount of hype they are getting, because in the grand scheme of things, what they are doing isn't remarkably new or daring. At least the futureheads play around with harmonies and have somewhat non-cyclical soundscapes. The futureheads album is (with the exception of possibly "hounds of love") at least cohesive where the album has a consistent feel (say being a young person, fresh out of school going out into the real world), with songs like "A to B", "The city is here for you to use", "robot".

I'm not trying to substitute the futureheads as a more deserving "it" band, I'm just arguing that the hype for block party is incredibly farce-like and confounding.
 
Posted 02/15/2005 - 06:45:42 AM by vinegar:
 Never has a review by someone else expressed my thoughts so well. Amazing album, lives up to all the promise that was in the EPs and more.
 
Posted 02/16/2005 - 07:44:00 PM by wmurch3:
 Couldn't agree more with this review. To the person who pointed out how much better this review is than the pitchfork review; i couldn't agree more.
 
Posted 02/17/2005 - 01:28:49 PM by Hexagon:
 I think they're pretty boring, but the indie crowd can't get enough of this generic dirge. More power to them.
 
Posted 02/23/2005 - 01:33:27 AM by ieatseeds:
 i love how we review reviews now. fun. it's actually kind of ... what came first the chicken or the egg, sort of.... anyway, im loving bloc party right now. ow!
 
Posted 02/23/2005 - 12:36:59 PM by lovezero:
 i think, they gonna be better by the oncoming releases and this is a decent album that grows on you, and gives the first-impact mood succesfully:) we are still waiting for that big-hit album:)))
 
Posted 02/23/2005 - 01:04:33 PM by meatbreak:
 you just pegged 2005 theheightstx. the futureheads are one of the best bands in britain at the moment and you can only imagine what they will be capable of in the future - songs as focused and honed as any number of more experienced bands, willfully obscure and obtuse phrasing, long forgotten styles of vocal experimentation, humorously incisive lyrics - this is a band with enough hind and fore sight to realise that crafting perfect pop songs has far more to do with crafting perfect pop songs than finding a half-decent hook and hammering away at it until an audience succumbs. the rub? i'm about to get crude - fuck bloc party. come back when you make me dance like i was told you would.
 
Posted 03/23/2005 - 05:48:14 PM by bassman08:
 It kind of pisses me off how people are always so negative about every "it" band that comes around, especially the British ones that were deemed "it" by the British press. I'm American, so maybe that has something to do with it, but it seems like you guys just need to listen to the fucking music and get over weather it sounds too much like Franz Ferdinand or not. I don't even care if you think that's a bad thing if they do (although I personally do), just stop bitching about being disappointed when they don't sound as great as you think they will or when they don't fit in a specific "label." Music snobbery is music snobbery no matter how you look at it, and it seems like you are all doing it. You should all know not to read a single review and live by it anyway, it's just one person's opinion. I dunno, I just find this whole discussion pointless. Yes, I like Bloc Party (it was just released over here so I bought it today), and the album is pretty good, but I like this kind of shit. You know what you are getting into when you listen to it, so if you don't like it, quit bitching and eother don't buy it in the first place stop listening to it!
 
Posted 03/25/2005 - 04:56:31 PM by nlincol2:
 I think the problem here resides with-in the very concept of new bands. What the hell was wrong with the old bands? Newness in general is a virus that is consuming our society. Now, I have no problem with innovation-as long as it actually innovates. What's new about Bloc Party specifically?...Not the guitars, not someone singing politically in english, not electro florishes, and not three minute pop songs. Everytime someone is recognized as the next big thing I like to ask myself how I would feel about owning ten or even two of their albums. I'm just ranting because I can't consume pop culture as quickly as it is produced...blah blah blah.
 
Posted 03/26/2005 - 12:09:59 AM by Hexagon:
 "'m American, so maybe that has something to do with it" Maybe it does.
 
Posted 03/28/2005 - 08:58:40 PM by mtwill:
 Since I usually only post snarky comments making of fun of Ian Mathers, let me just say this really is one of the lovelist record reviews in a while. Agree or disagree, you can really tell how moved Nick was by this music. "Bloc Party are the first band in eight years that I feel I can care about." Now that's a great review. So happens I couldnt agree more . . . As for the pitchfork vs. stylus point, this review is an outlier. Thats the problem with Stylus - completely depends on the reviewer. No editorial QC. The Pitchfork review of BP was kind of bland, but the score was in the right ballpark. And reviewing reviews is fun, almost as fun as reviewing records! Anyway, thanks for a great one, Nick.
 
Posted 03/29/2005 - 05:38:33 PM by NickSouthall:
 nlincol2 - it's not about being new or innovative or ground breaking or any of that - it's about the fact that the songs here give me an incredible rush, several incredible rushes in fact. There's nothing wrong with the old bands or music at all, except that I can't get exicited about rushing out to buy their new record and hear their new songs anymore because they don't make them. And mtwill - thank you. Comments like that are why I still bother writing about music.
 
Posted 04/01/2005 - 03:41:26 PM by Ellkie:
 Quite simply, I couldn't get this out my cd player (im old fashioned) for about a month. I loved the review in NME, I loved the tracks I heard that kick about, I bought the album the day it was out and love every second of it. Theres nothing wrong with old bands but when something new like this comes along you've gotta reaslise they've got somthing most band don't have. Its guid.
 
Posted 04/04/2005 - 05:58:40 PM by KettleMcGregor:
 "What's new about Bloc Party specifically?...Not the guitars, not someone singing politically in english, not electro florishes, and not three minute pop songs." What the discussion boils down to is that songs are more than the sum of their parts. This guitar sound and style have been used many times over, yeah, but not exactly this way. The electro touches have been thrown into everything, but theyre used quite effectively here. The interesting things that Kele (i believe thats his name, correct me if I'm wrong) does with his voice, while reminiscent of other singers, are used slightly differently. The way all these elements work together is what turns this album into one of the best so far this year. (I know its April, but 3 months is still a lot of records.) Not every album can cover completely uncharted territory, but you can make a damn good one finding a interesting way around the map, and that's what Bloc Party have managed to do here.
 
Posted 04/11/2005 - 05:12:39 AM by legato:
 pretty nice review. i just listned this album and i loved it just by the first music "Like eating grass". i was really waiting for an album like this, full of rythim, i love the drums.. . Bloc Party musics really make me happier when i listen to them :). same as nick, i didnt felt like this for a band for some time, not much as him cause i'm probably much yonger, but the last time i felt really good when listening music was with the Radiohead - hail to the tiefs release. i'm loving silent alarm for now, it's an album that evryone with good taste for music should ear :) (sry for my bad english, i'm not that good at it)
 
Posted 04/13/2005 - 03:52:34 PM by Ellkie:
 Its "like eating glass". Don't blame you though, on "This Modern Love" I though he said "You told me you wanted to eat up my sandwich". Could maybe end up with some amusing takes on songs about eating perhaps.
 
Posted 06/02/2005 - 05:57:00 PM by Nick.Southall:
 I like to play this alhbum while I cry myself to sleep. Also, I listen to the album while I tend to my paperclip collection.
 
Posted 06/20/2005 - 01:48:13 PM by ridindirty:
 as the chicks from S-K say in the a spin interview "all these bands today sound like Gang of Four ... if Gang of Four sucked." Besides that fact that S-K's own most recent release is tepid, they're on to something. Bloc Party keeps a black lead singer for "street cred" (do you have that in the UK?) and melodies from Echo and the B-Men that sounded stale lame when Bin-182 cribbed the bass line. Bloc Party is so bland and hyped up. Kinda like meeting some supposedly gorgeous princess you were promised to and then finding out she's not even ugly enough to be a joke.
 
Posted 09/30/2005 - 04:27:37 PM by BeingaBunny:
 this is a nice album... just not an A+, but clarity can tell anyone that much.
 
Posted 12/21/2005 - 08:22:12 AM by vinegar:
 Bloc Party keeps a black lead singer for "street cred" Yes! They do. Keep him in a cage too, i'm told.