“They’re starting to remember what it was that made them so good in the first place, and therefore makes for a thoroughly satisfying listen…”
Bloc Party | Four
The return of Bloc Party – along with a fourth studio album, aptly titled, Four – came as a bit of a surprise after rumours circled that Russel Lissack, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong were auditioning for new singers after Kele Okereke went to pursue his solo career. But it seems that Okereke has expelled his electro dance compulsions with the release of his debut album the Boxer and reunited with his old friends to do what he does best.
After the disappointiment of 2008′s Intimacy that saw Kele dragging the band deeper into world of electronica, gone were the days that that they were commanding the indie dance floor with the likes of Banquet and Flux. The glimmer of hope that Four would not continue where Intimacy left off but recapture the resounding success of Silent Alarm brilliantly comes to fruition as Four sees the quartet replacing their electronic experimentalism with soaring guitars and bludgeoning beats.
‘So He Begins To Lie’ proves the band have lost none of the vitriol with Lissack’s crunchy riff and Tong’s unruly athleticism on the drums driving the song forward to make an impressive opener with ’3X3′ continuing in the same vein with gothic vocals and menacing guitars.
The first release of the new album, the jittery dance-rock track ‘Octopus’, showcases the most guitar centric approach from the foursome in years. Complete with a stuttering rhythm and assured vocals, the fast paced urgency of Silent Alarm is still there with Okereke seeming to have replaced his previous angst with irresistible confidence. An impressive return from the quartet that will get stuck in your head with repeat listens.
The album takes a tender approach with fragile falsettos in ‘Real Talk’ which provides some much needed respite after the crashing drums of the previous tracks. Proving they’ve got a sensitive side too, ‘Day Four’ is an instantly appealing and subdued track complete with dreamy guitars and honest vocals that closes on a beautiful guitar finale led by Lissack amongst a background of haunting wails.
The most exciting point in the album arrives with ‘Coliseum’, a track that deceptively begins with a blues infused introduction that drastically merges into Okereke’s deathly howls, furiously shaking up the album, whereas ‘V.A.L.I.S’ contrasts this explosiveness by revealing itself to be an intimate indie pop song with an air of melancholy
The beguiling penultimate track ‘The Healing’ demonstrates the sheer extent of Bloc Party’s musical depth whereas the final track ‘We’re Not Good People’ finishes with an almighty bang. Kele is unrestrained giving the most energetic performance of the album ‘’todays the day you’ve been set free’’.
Four delightfully sees the party return to their previous good form with Kele giving his band member more musical freedom. Working as four equals, they’re starting to remember what it was that made them so good in the first place and therefore takes for a thoroughly satisfying listen.