Silent Alarm review by Bloc Party

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  • Released: Mar 14, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.7 (124 votes)
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
3

Sound — 10
As soon as you hear the manic drums enter on the opener 'Like Eating Glass' you know something special will take place in the next 50 minutes of listening to this album. Its unbelivable album. It really has to be heard to be believed. I can't really force it into a music stlye at all. the only one I could say would be Indie. The music on Silent Alarm is amazing. the guiars are used in the right places and at the right tempo when needed. Instead of just going for guiar riff though, guitarist Russell uses a lot of effects to make this album stand out. And then theres the drums and bass trying to contain everything. It sounds wonderful I can tell you. Bloc Party are equally adept at making a manic post-punk tune like 'Price Of Gasoline' and a slow heart-meltingly smooth tune like 'So Here We Are.' The opener 'Like Eating Glass' set the tone perfectly. A guitar loop slips in and out of the speakers until it is followed by a continuous note. Then cymbals timing the process can be heard followed by the drums entering and sounding like drummer Matt Tong is at war with his own equipment! Then the second guitar enters and its left like that for a bit. All of a sudden though a bass note is rung and followed by the first guitar 9and the effects surrounding it) to disappear leaving singer Kele Okereke desperately proclaiming 'Its So Cold In This House.' But then you have 'So Here We Are' which sounds nothing like that opener. A gentle guitar rift slides in followed by a slow drum and bass build up. When Kele starts singing the drums erupt into what sounds like a dance beat while the rest of the music keeps a slow tempo. On paper it sounds like it souldn't work but it possibly track of the album. It really does sound like nothing ever before and it's done so beautifully. Top marks for sound.

Lyrics — 10
Ok lets start with Kele's voice. It's extremely distinctive and versatile. It can move between high pitch panic and low pitched soul searching. Both voices are heard in 'So Here We Are' a song about being high on ectasy. It starts of low and comforting but then it turns to his high pitch panicky tone and you get the feeling something's not right. Kele wrote most of the lyrics to the album but there are several songs written with bassist Gordon as well. The lyrics work well to either fit the panic or the thoughtfulness of the music. The themes include boredom, drugs, love, depression and on the brilliant 'Helicopter' George W. Bush. 'Just like his dad, just like his dad, (the same mistakes), some things will never be different' Its an excellent and subtle comment on the leader. The lyrics themselves though are quite cryptic and it would take much longer to really work out there true meaning. And of course they're catchy. 'Helicopter' and 'Like Eating Glass' both have anthemic choruses and 'This Modern Love' is distinctly hummable. Again top marks for lyrics.

Overall Impression — 10
Bloc Party are being tipped as the new Franz Ferdinand. The thing is they're nothing like Franz. Their music aches of modern life whereas Franz seem to sound like most things post seventies. However what most people usually refer to when they say that comment is that Bloc Party are going to be the next big things like Franz Ferdinand became the next big things. Silent Alarm though doesn't really sound as though there any filler on it (unlike Franz Ferdinand). It's also one of the most fresh albums of recent years. I'd have to say that the only album that can equal it for imagination is Hope Of The States 'The Lost Riots' album. Both sound fresh and different in this time when indie rock is on its way back into the mainstream after Britpop. The standout tracks on Silent Alarm are 'Like Eating Glass' (stunning opener), 'Helicopter' (post-punk, pop shenanigans at their best), 'Posistive Tension' (amazing build up from creepy drum and bass to a massive rock out effect), 'She's Hearing Voices' (haunting tale of mordern life) and my personal favourite 'So Here We Are' (simply beautiful enquiry of the effects of drugs). I love this album cos its sounds like nothing else around at the moment nand shows an itelligence and knowledge in music that most bands seem to lack. The only problem I find though is that however good the album closer 'Compliments' is, it does have the sense of being anti-climatic. It also has a darkness on it that standout from the the other tracks. Thats being picky though, as is my anoyance that they didn't include the song 'Little Thoughts' on it. This album I would definatly buy again if lost or stolen. if it was stolen I'd probably cause bodily harm on the person who thought it would be a good idea to do so. Please please please gop out and buy this album. It's not only one of the best in recent years, but it's also an important album to show that modern rock doesnt necessarily need to sound directly from the past.

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