13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fans of British quartet Bloc Party have been wondering if the band would put aside solo ventures and side projects in favor of a full-blown reunion. Four answers this question loudly in the affirmative with a vigorous album that pick up where 2008’s Intimacy left off. As before, Bloc Party owes much to the abrasive likes of Gang of Four, Sonic Youth and similar ‘80s-era groups. It also displays a savvy pop sensibility that imbeds hooks deep within its snarling riffage and jackhammer grooves. Singer Kele Okereke shape-shifts his way through these tracks, turning into a punk agitator in “So He Begins to Lie,” a teasing soul man in “3x3” and a suave balladeer in “Truth.” The music here is equally diverse, veering from the spiky pop of “Octopus” to the visceral blues of “Coliseum” and the mauling at-rock of “We Are Not Good People.” Guitarist Russell Lissack especially does yeoman service, unleashing ferociously gargled notes in “Kettling” and nerve-jangling strums on “Team A.” Bloc Party throws sharp elbows at every opportunity, yet never slips into gratuitous noise.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fans of British quartet Bloc Party have been wondering if the band would put aside solo ventures and side projects in favor of a full-blown reunion. Four answers this question loudly in the affirmative with a vigorous album that pick up where 2008’s Intimacy left off. As before, Bloc Party owes much to the abrasive likes of Gang of Four, Sonic Youth and similar ‘80s-era groups. It also displays a savvy pop sensibility that imbeds hooks deep within its snarling riffage and jackhammer grooves. Singer Kele Okereke shape-shifts his way through these tracks, turning into a punk agitator in “So He Begins to Lie,” a teasing soul man in “3x3” and a suave balladeer in “Truth.” The music here is equally diverse, veering from the spiky pop of “Octopus” to the visceral blues of “Coliseum” and the mauling at-rock of “We Are Not Good People.” Guitarist Russell Lissack especially does yeoman service, unleashing ferociously gargled notes in “Kettling” and nerve-jangling strums on “Team A.” Bloc Party throws sharp elbows at every opportunity, yet never slips into gratuitous noise.

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