Showing posts with label bloc party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bloc party. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

video review: 'hymns' by bloc party

Man, this review was insanely hard to get through. So glad I'm past it...

Next up, well, Billboard BREAKDOWN of course, but plus I've got a little something special on the way, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 1, 2016

album review: 'hymns' by bloc party

You know, if we're looking for a way to categorize indie music in the 2000s, especially the early-to-mid 2000s, it would be the slew of indie bands who blew the world open with borderline classic debut albums and yet couldn't never really recapture the magic throughout the rest of the decade. Of course, it's all a manner of degree, but in the widespread public consciousness, acts like The Killers or Franz Ferdinand or The Strokes or Interpol were never able to really match the lightning in the bottle that was their debut.

And in 2005, that band was Bloc Party. I've gone back to relisten to Silent Alarm and it remains one of the best indie rock records of the 2000s, with a relentlessly tight construction, a fantastic sense of momentum, and lyrics that could match that visceral tension. And then for the rest of the decade, Bloc Party couldn't seem to match it, pivoting towards underwhelming but still pretty solid electronics for A Weekend In The City to the more riotously electronic Intimacy, which I'd argue wasn't quite as consistently good but had stronger highpoints like the absolutely amazing 'Zephyrus'.

So after that, they took four years off, came back with a return to their roots on Four... and look, if they were trying to imitate Silent Alarm, it wasn't working. The heavier guitars didn't have the same sense of tightness or tempo or groove, the production wasn't as sharp, and it felt most like a band trying desperately to recapture what came naturally years earlier. But the roots of that might have run deeper - the band was unstable, and both the drummer and bassist left the band in the following two years. Fortunately they were able to pull together new members - including Justin Harris of Menomena, which was definitely a positive sign - but then the lead-off single 'The Love Within' happened. And while you could see traces of what Bloc Party were in the multi-tracked vocals and percussion, those blocky oscillating keyboards just smothered any tightness the song might have and sure as hell were not a replacement for guitars! In other words, I didn't know what to expect with this, so what did we get with Hymns?