That kabob money Bloc Party paid to the hype pimp was well-spent. In a short year the London unit has zoomed from chatted-about demo status to being the proper noun in a thousand overheard rock club conversations. Yelled: “This is Bloc Party! They’re the new—” … and there’s the problem. Because Bloc Party isn’t the new anything. Capably crafted couture-rock for college grads buying The Face, maybe. But not new. Silent Alarm, the full-length debut, tacks tin treble guitars to energetic but flat drumming in a modern style suggestive of post-punk swallowing an old Blur album. There are slower moments where Kele Okereke actually sings, but mostly he just dials his accent up and down for punchy phrases and the occasional anti-government jag. There are some successes. “Positive Tension” builds predictably but nicely to a rocking riot, and the hooks driving impatient single “Banquet” are serrated enough to scratch the bodies of dance-floor first-responders. But Silent Alarm doesn’t cut deeper than its decent first impression. It’s like a duet between Okereke and the guitars, Bloc Party’s only resonant components. And in the end Alarm only triggers the thought that U2’s 1983 single “Two Hearts Beat as One” was pretty great.
Friday, April 1, at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700) with the Ponys.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.