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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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Bloc Party
Silent Alarm
Witchita Recordings

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


March 23, 2005
Obligatory introductory and banter bit:
Hello! Welcome to my Bloc Party - Silent Alarm review. Enjoy your stay (I couldn't think of a better one).

Obligatory band associations/influences/et cetera:
Talking Heads, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Kraftwerk, Smiths, Radiohead. It has been written that the band doesn't like to perpetuate band clichés of referencing bands, but instead they believe in influences as a springboard for divergence and reinterpretation of ideas, which is a great concept for me; I trust in a good dialectic process here and there.

Obligatory review:
The name Bloc Party was floated around independent music sites with much fanfare last year after the release of their Little Thoughts and Helicopter EPs. Although the suddenly eminent British band received a wide array of acclaim, everyone knew these EPs would accumulate to something bigger.

Now, we have Silent Alarm.

As you can likely surmise from the rating attached to this review, I like this album, in fact I enjoy it a great deal. I won't beat around the bush or dissect the album intently before I say that this release is worth your attention.

This record has heaps of energy, but this vigor doesn't manifest itself in normal ways like manic chords or a breakneck pace - rather, this energy resonates in the aural presence of the band. Even the veiled sense of resolve and quiet unease displayed by the vocals come off with a subtle sense of urgency, the type of which pervades the album.

I will spare the reader a dissection of the political aspects of the lyrical content and trust that they will take up such issues of the modern social political environment on their own.

(The political content that can be found in music, art, books or whatever should [in my opinion] never define political discourse or outwardly propagate 'truth,' but rather function to help facilitate the discourse and add to it. In other words bands, authors, music reviewers and other artists shouldn't be telling you what the 'right way' to think, but express a point of view that can then be critically assessed - it's your interpretation as the listener that really matters, not what I tell you.

That's also why it's kind of nice Bloc Party delivers their viewpoint in a more subtle and oblique fashion instead of the outright 'this is wrong' attitude of some politically charged bands.) [That was quite a long portion to be put in brackets]

Tracks like "Helicopter", "She's Hearing Voices" and "Banquet" are sure to excite most music lovers immediately, but the non-singles have great qualities to them as well. Bloc Party rummages through many different approaches and atmospheres throughout the course of the album, and even when it slows down on tracks like "This Modern Love" and "Blue Light," the band pulls it off with genuine tightness. Silent Alarm comes to a conclusion with the slow burner, "Compliments," which in itself is haunting and serene.

If you haven't already been caught up in one or two Bloc Party singles, then Silent Alarm may be the record that makes you fall in love with this band (and for the already initiated, a reaffirmation of that love would be in order). There is little doubt that Silent Alarm is stellar, worthy of the praise it has received.

Reviewed by Abi Huynh
A contributing writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Abi Huynh enjoys film and music that most people criminally ignore.

See other reviews by Abi Huynh

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