Nothing but Compliments from here (2005), the anticipation of Alpha Games is mounting…
Rife in dissonant, art-jaunty hooks with the flair of graffiti pizzaz, Bloc Party always brings a sense of familiarity whenever I listen to their music, old and new.
Since helping mould the shape of British indie-rock sounds since the early 2000s, they have themselves to thank for so many young-idled artists who have sprung up into the scene since their debut in early 2005, Silent Alarm. The trio of Banquet, Helicopter and This Modern Love brought a new sense of modernism within a far more tensive rock culture that was seemingly stuck in the late ’90s.
You may assume that Bloc Party are often side-lined during the rise of indie-rock in the early 2000s when we saw far more discernible acts breach the surface like Franz Ferdinand and Klaxons – but many of those artists have remained in a standstill transition, never really being able to force themselves forward with the same effort.
The same can’t really be said for Bloc Party. Going on from leaps to bounds, the defining moment had to be the send-off of Flux in 2007.
Their idyllic post-punk flurries of guitar matched with this compelling fusion of synth and electronica brought about a fresh ideal to a band who seemed pretty out of it when it eventually got to the end of ’08. Despite going through countless breaks and departures into 2010, 2012 brought about “Octopus,” a factory-reset combustion that saw the band return to their guitar-heavy sound of Helicopter. Like the tentacles of such an eight-legged companion, they found a new momentum in creating music diving into one lyrical rabbit hole into another.
A more passive and soulful approach to their sound, 2016 Hymns was a comforting change, reflecting both the state of affairs within the band – frontman Okereke opted for a more synth-driven solo project – and the rise of electronics within indie-rock music. Although nothing majorly revolutionary in the stance of music in general, it allowed to Bloc Party to be a “jack-of-all-trades” brand, expediting their creativity for delving into how far they can take themselves.
Misconstrued as band turmoil, Okereke reignited his solo career during Bloc‘s down time and the band eventually returned for a full live play-through of Silent Alarm in 2019.
So here we are. 2022.
A resurfacing, an angry “you best not have forgotten us” resurfacing if you will, their first release was Traps. A pre-single tease to reveal that their sixth studio LP, Alpha Games will be released at the end of April on the 29th.
Since this, they have pushed out three more singles, Sex Magic, The Girls Are Fighting and If We Get Caught which all bring about fresh sounds for the fresh new year aswell as bringing sounds of familiarity that we distinguish as very much their own from ’05 and ’07.
It’s the beauty of evolving sounds but still keeping the nostalgic Weekend in the City vibes that work so well for Bloc Party..
If you can’t wait til the end of April like I can’t, you can listen to the singles released so far below: