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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Bloc Party
Bloc Party EP
Dim Mak Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Bloc Party has received a warm welcome from the indie community, but when embracing their debut EP, it's hard not to notice how the songs wear surprisingly thin. The first three are as catchy as you could ask for, but toward the end of the album the songs start stretching out and things get far too repetitive to enjoy.

There's a good mix of Gang of Four and the Stooges in the sound they create. It's upbeat and dancey, while keeping a certain sense of the street - not unlike Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, but less gay. I know I'm only saying that because they're British.

Regardless, I've seen these guys labeled as the "British !!! [chk chk chk]," but I don't really hear it. Other than belonging to the 'dance punk' club, the two bands don't have all that much in common. The Bloc Party is fairly guitar driven dance rock, whereas !!! has solid bass lines and uses a multitude of instruments. I don't think Bloc Party uses anything other than your basic guitar, bass and drums to make this music that makes you shake your booty.

To their credit, the more I listen to this short introduction, the more it grows on me. "Banquet" is the single (as well as remixed) 'title' track to this EP, and it lives up to the small hype surrounding the band. Jangly guitar riffs with a crazy bass-fuzz sound effect keep you shaking. The repetition of the phrase "I'm on fire" seems to a hit maker for dance punk bands, and Bloc Party is trying to cash in on this track.

The track "Staying Fat" sounds like it belongs on a Fat Wreck Chords compilation; it reminds me a lot of the band Guns N' Wankers and/or Snuff (who I think were actually the same band, if I'm not mistaken). Either way, after the first song on the EP, the dance punk feel turns into a hybrid of redundant pop punk.

I guess my biggest problem with this release is a fairly personal gripe: it's an EP, why include a remix of the title track? I guess the Stills did it last year, but I don't quite understand. The original version of "Banquet" is perfect the way it is - it's the track that's paving your way - don't doctor it and include the remix on the EP, jerks. Nobody's buying this to hear that, they want to get to know the Bloc Party sound… and if they're like me, not that sound put through the mixer again.

These guys have garnered a good amount of attention in their homeland, and are slowly building steam here in the states. I'm guessing with the release of a full length we'll see if they have staying power. They do have power, but I'm not sure how long it will sustain them.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig



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