Silent Alarm Review

artist: Bloc Party date: 12/19/2005 category: compact discs

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Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
Released: Feb 2, 2005
Genre: Indie Rock, Post-Punk Revival
Label: Wichita
Number Of Tracks: 11
The spine chilling guitars and hard hitting drums make the music sound even more intense, topped with the vocals and the lyrics make Bloc Party a must have album for 2005.
 Sound: 9.6
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (10) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: shotgunXwedding, on december 19, 2005
5 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: Bloc Party is the reason why England always has a one up in the music scene as opposed to the US. The first track, Like Eating Glass, starts out with one guitar playing one single note over and over again. Shortly therefore comes the drums. Matt Tong is the best drummer of modern rock. No question at all. He can drum circles around anyone. Then Kele come in with his high pitched voice and the song is off. This is one of the best albums of 2005. Without question this is my second favorite album. The production is great and so is the musicianship. All in all a great sound. // 10

Lyrics: Bloc Party has some wierd but catchy lyrics. All the time they work. Kele signs in a high pitched voice most of the time, but on tracks like "She's Hearing Voices" he brings out a bass voice that is so low you can barely understand what he is say. This is an awesome sounding album and so are the lyrics. // 8

Overall Impression: Bloc Party is a pretty original band. They prove that British rock is alive and kicking. There is nothing I hate about this album. A great album through and through. If I lost this album I would buy it again. It's very good. // 9

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overall: 10
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 16, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 5.3
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 04, 2005
1 of 12 people found this review helpful

Sound: "It's generic, uninspiring, NME-endorsed indie Rock'N'Roll for me!" (as The Killers never said). The sound is just generic, boring NME-hype band, trendy indie-disco fodder. Most of the album is filler. If you want their good tracks, hunt down the 'Bloc Party EP' (from Australlia or Japan - theres 2 different 1s in Japan - The Banquet/Staying Fat 1 is better, marginally. The She's Hearing Voices 1 is Ok). Also, Roland, the singer. Sorry, I mean 'Kele' (as he is now known) is trying harder and harder to sound like Robert Smith (of The Cure fame) - stop! Go and buy Ok Computer by Radiohead and hunt down a copy of At Home He's A Tourist by Gang Of Four. Or maybe you like to listen to generic, uninspiring, NME-endorsed indie Rock'N'Roll. More fool you. // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics are awful! Its just "GW Bush is a bad man", "Oil is evil" - just complete B--llocks! Its just another example of a band trying to 'do' politics - and failing miserably. Its 1 really excrutiatingly cliched slogan after another. Go and buy a copy of the Holy Bible (Manic Street Preachers) reissue - for some genuine angst. Bloc Party try (and fail, again) to capture a bit of everything thats good about certain 'cult' bands - such as Joy Division's haunting lyrics, The Cure's vocals, GO4's wirey, jagged guitars, the angst of every '70s (or even '90s for that matter) punk band - to create an uber-cool super-indie band in an NME-friendly package. Apparently they're shy anti-heroes. What a load of B. S. Would Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke, et al churn out a bunch of songs this dull. Radiohead gambled with their careers on a number of occassions, and in my opinion, it paid off (despite the criticisms from certain areas of the weekly music/lifestyle press - come off it - you know who I'm talking about). The lyrics and well the music is general is just unchallenging, dull and yawn - sorry, just drifting off to sleep thinking about it. // 4

Overall Impression: They're all dressed by Topman/River Island, all those evil fashionable places, which they should be punished for anyway, trying to make out that they're some kind of anti-hereos/geeks, set to take over the world and revolutionise the music industry as we know it. They're signed to Witchita ferchistsakes! - Witchita = V2 = Virgin = EMI. They're even trying to make out that they have some kind of "indie" credability! They're on a subsidiary. They're hiding the fact that they're signed to a major incase it puts people off. How sad. // 6

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overall: 8.7
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: Indie_Legend, on july 12, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is the obviously thing that stands out from everything its got cool riffs, rhythmic drumming and carefull bass sounds which make this album say "this is different." The sound on this album has come from pop culture as well as rock and has a great variety I dont think I've met some-one yet who didnt love this album. // 10

Lyrics: The singer Kele has amazing talent and obviously puts a lot of thought in to his lyrics as it is obvious they have meaning, there's really only one problem with the lyrics and thats really only on 1 song "Helicopter" my favorite song by far yet the lyrics are a kind of downer, there just too political and as we've seen it ruins a lot of songs (Green Days "American Idiot"). But apart from that minor problem I say the lyrics are safe and sound. // 8

Overall Impression: The album is a amazing piece of music if you feel like something different then what you listen too at the moment then go out and get this album there are many great things about this album and only a few set backs. // 8

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overall: 10
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: Lewis55, on october 03, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amazing! They're in a league of their own. The depth to each song still stuns me everytime I listen to it. Songs like Banquet, Pioneers, Blue Light and So Her We Are are the songs that make you think. Like Eating Glass, Helicopter, Positive Tension, She's Hearing Voices, Price Of Gas and Luno are songs that are really fast. Russel Lissack (guitarist) has a sound of his own. The guitar is what gives Bloc Party that special sound. The bass as well is amazing, Gordon Moakes (bassist) is really talented. The drums are the icing on the cake. The way Matt Tong (drummer) plays is so different and quality. Bloc Party's sound is brilliant because it is so different. // 10

Lyrics: Kele Okereke (singer & guitarist) voice is fantastic. His strong English accent somehow makes his voice brilliant. The lyrics to each and every song tell a story, especially So Here We Are. He is one of the greatest singer/songwriter I have ever heard. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of my favourite albums. I love everyting about this album. There isn't a single thing I'd like to change about this album. So Here We Are is one of the greatest songs I've ever heard, even my nan likes it! I would buy this album twice 'cause I think it is worth double the money it actually is. I strongly recommend this album to anyone who loves music. // 10

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overall: 10
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: the-indie-kid, on march 31, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I can only describe this album as magic. On initially hearing the album I dismissed it as nothing special, but on listening to it a bit more I have really got into it, and think Bloc Party have created something special. Sound I guess would be under indie, although I would say they are very different from other indie bands. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are in general very good, although I find it quite hard to understand them while he sings them. 'Helicopter' is a fantastic song, written about George Dubya and has lyrics such as 'just like his dad, the same mistakes,' and 'why can't you be more European' - in my opinion 1000 times better than the Rock Against Bush CD! the lead singer has a great voice, and it is also great to see a black frontman for a band, and it gives the band a unique sound. I don't know who the backing vocalist is but he creates some haunting harmonies which fit the songs perfectly. // 10

Overall Impression: Some may think this CD is just another from the new wave of British indie bands, but it is definately something special. I caught them at the NME tour and they are great performers. Went to a Bloc Party signing and made a tit out of myself by asking some stupid question, ah well. Best songs on the album I would say are the first 3, 'Like Eating Glass', 'Helicopter' and 'Postive Tension'. I'm not sure whether the CD is available in America, but to all you over their get onto Amazon and buy this CD! I would definately get this CD again if it was stolen, and would congratulate the thief on his great taste in music. // 10

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overall: 10
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 01, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Many people I've heard talk about Silent Alarm say they don't quite get it on the first listen, but if you carry on you will be rewarded, not quite sure I agree with that I loved it the moment I first placed the CD into my hi-fi the opener "Like Eating Glass" is awesome and the rest of the 12 tracks carry this theme on. I know everyone says that Bloc Party are the new Franz or whatever but in all honesty there is no comparision between them, Bloc Party are so far superior it's untrue. Bloc Party diversify there music on this album its hard 2 pin down a specific genre as all songs sound so different but all songs are amazingly accomplished for a debut record from Russell's (lead guitar) effects dripping guitar licks to. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are great, infact its almost worth not having a beat behind them and doing them accapella, you couldn't do that though the beats in themselves are beyond amazing. Kele's (lead singer) voice is so different to anyone elses out at the moment, he sings on such songs as "Helicopter" with an urgency I havent heard for sometime, but then songs like "Blue Light" he sings with an amazingly chilled voice almost crooning, Gordon's (bassist) backing vocals harmonise so neatly with Kele's, you would think that they are blood related. The lyrics can be complex first few times but thats a good thing surely making people think about music also they are amazingly mature for someone who is only 23. // 10

Overall Impression: As mentioned above the main comparisions Bloc Party face are with Franz but this is hardly fair to them at all Franz are nowhere near as diverse on their on CD and just stick to there influences like glue rarely moving on from there and thus get monotonous (also Bloc Party are actually better live than they are on CD). Bloc Party on the otherhand are as impossible to commit to one genre as politicians are to commit to the truth. My personal favorite song on this album is "Like Eating Glass" because of its haunting lyrics and awesome opening 20 seconds. I don't know american release dates for this CD but would advise any Franz fans to buy it, listen to it and love it and then try and argue about all my comments on franz. I could never lose this CD mainly because since I bought it, it's rarely been more than 5 minutes out of my CD player. As for thieves who stole my CD player containing the CD I would go out and buy 5 copies and deposit them in safe places incase of such an event happening again that is how good this album is. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 03, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is one of the most hyped bands of 2005. However, they are certainly worth the buzz. They do follow the "Sound Du Jour" with hi-hat riding rhythms and angular guitars, but they add something special. They manage to put in the "OK Computer" era guitar sounds of Radiohead into the mix. The results are quite impressive. All of the musicians in the band are very talented at their respective instruments. // 10

Lyrics: Great lyrics in my opinion. The reason I gave this only a four is that, to me, the lead singer's (Kele) strong accent can sometimes get in the way of the lyrics. Still, he's a talented singer. // 8

Overall Impression: This is one of the stand-out debuts this year. Definitaly something you don't wanna miss. They are one of the best of the '80s-revivalist bands out there. Their political The best songs are: Helicopter, Price Of Gas, Banquet, She's Hearing Voices, and Little Thoughts. If this were stolen, I would definitaly buy it again. // 10

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overall: 10
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 02, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I'll just do a track-by-track review: 01. Like Eating Glass - 8/10, it starts off slow, but it builds up and the song is great to start the album off with. 02. Helicopter - 9/10, the beginning captures you and makes you want more. This song deserves to be played loud. 03. Positive Tension - 9/10, I love the bass line in this song. 04. Banquet - 9/10, this song is so catchy its irrisistible. 05. Blue Light - 10/10, when I first heard this song I couldn't stop listening to it for the next hour or so. It's so beautiful. 06. She's Hearing Voices - 9/10, I didn't like this song at first, but it grew on me and now I love it. 07. This Modern Love - 9/10, I love this song. It's as simple as that. 08. Pioneers Infinity - 10/10, this song is probably my favorite on the CD. I can't get enough of it nor can I find words great enough to describe it. The ending of the song gets you so pumped up. 09. Price Of Gas - 9/10, I didn't like this song the first few times I heard it, but the more I heard it the more I liked it. It's quite political if you hadn't already noticed from the title. 10. Little Thoughts - 9/10, it's really catchy and it's great! 11. So Here We Are - 9/10, one of my favorites on the CD, it's a beautiful song. 12. Luno - 9/10, it's such a refreshing song and the sound of it is flawless. 13. Plans - 9/10, I love it. 14. Compliments - 9/10, it's a great song to end the CD with. I think the sound throughout the whole album is flawless and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. // 10

Lyrics: They are lyrical geniuses! // 10

Overall Impression: This album is definetly my favorite of the whole year so far and will most likely be my favorite of the year. "Pioneers" is my favorite song on the whole CD and if that song doesn't catch your attention, then the other songs will. All the songs on the cd could be singles. I saw Bloc Party in early June this year, and they were amazing. During "Positive Tension," Kele, the vocalist, changed the lyrics from "So f--ing useless" to "What the f--k is going on in here?" and some guy up front yelled that they had sung the wrong lyrics, so the whole band stopped playing in the middle of the song and agreed to play the song over again just for that guy. This band is great live and if someone stole the CD from me because of it's greatness, I would definetly buy it again. I took it out of my CD player for the first time in two months the other day and put it back in the next day. I can't wait for the remix album and their next album. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Silent Alarm Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 25, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is a perfect seasonal album, as the cover shows - winter, open places. A cold setting with bright music. The messy verses with clear choruses makes each song like a river of Kele's catchy vocals and the fast guitars. What makes Bloc Party's sound different from other bands like the bravery or Franz Ferdinand is that instead of forcing the vocals and rhythms, it seems to fit together naturally. The studio production is also great, The last song "Compliments" makes you feel as if your floating in the urban night, its a truly simple song with solid emotion. I'd like to say also that we all know there is not many black singers in lead rock groups, Lajon from Sevendust, Skindred and Kele from Bloc Party are the only ones I can think of and each of those bands have killer presence with their voices. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are aggressive and dynamic, Kele keeps it going in a catchy songs such as "Banquet," "Like Eating Glass" the political outcry "Helicopter" and the unique sound of "Positive Tension" But this album has really awesome soft tracks as well. Blue Light offers ambient guitars with keles vocals dripping like syrup, then a suprise U2 sounding towards the end. "This Modern Love" makes you feel relaxed and confident in the bands sound and is another highlight on the album. Bottom line, Bloc Partys songs are straight to the point averaging around 3 minutes. // 9

Overall Impression: This band sounds like it would be a mix of U2 & Coldplay but the influence is primarily indie and sonic wave. There is no other band out there right now that sounds just like these guys. The first half of the tracks couldn't be better, the 2nd half doesn't quiet measure up to the bar the first 7 tracks offer but they find their own place in the album, no real flaws, no overproduction or underproduction, the messy verses with double vocal choruses sound really good. The last song "Compliments" really made an impression on me, it will change your life! I haven't felt that musical emotion since the Shins and Coldplay. It's hard not to like Bloc Party, they keep the beats going with the refreshing vocals of Kele and the upbeat guitars and drums. Also some help of a keyboard from time to time, this band has a bright future. I look forward to catching a concert sometime. // 9

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