Bloc Party

Silent Alarm (Vice)

ACL Music Festival Reviews

Bloc Party

Silent Alarm (Vice)

This multicultural, South London-based quartet has committed itself to the deceptively tough task of creating jagged, intelligent, working-class art-punk but, in doing so, has borne an album so rich in layers and careful thought that it takes repeated listens to truly appreciate what's happening. For instance, the first few times "Helicopter" whirls inside your listener delivery system, what may sound like a regular old bassline is actually a layered line of chanting voices, while singer Kele Okereke flings his voice around so wildly you fear it might get whiplash. Meanwhile, guitarist Russell Lissack tears through the drapes with his axe, bursting a few eardrums in the process. "Banquet" is a nostalgic synth-pop dance mix with faux-reggae undertones (trust me, it works) that switches gears to full-on rawk with nary a grind. Bloc Party has successfully blended decades' worth of influences, from the Stones to the Smiths, and concocted a bruising set of songs that conjure up images of living on cigarettes and tea in an unheated flat: a delicious sacrifice to make for art. (Saturday, 7:30pm, AMD stage)

***

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