Silent Alarm - Bloc Party

2012-12-28

I like to multitask in the shower. It’s my principle thinking space. The combination of heat and white noise, together with the lack of anything resembling a device capable of sending or receiving Tweets usually results in a high “fuck that’s a great a idea!”-to-shower ratio.

I also like listening to music in the shower. This started in middle school, which is about when I started caring what music I listened to. I first heard Bloc Party at the recommendation of my pal Ian, who maintained that it was “the best makeout music” he knew. I never put that to the test (that I can remember—who knows, maybe I did) but I did find that it stayed in my shower CD player for longer than just about any other album save Reel Big Fish’s Cheer Up!

Most people know Bloc Party by now. A Weekend In The City is fantastic, Intimacy isn’t bad, and Four isn’t that bad either. They’ve been making music since 2004, and though I hate to say this about any band, their debut Silent Alarm, is by far their best work.

Silent Alarm works because it sounds like Radiohead’s The Bends meets Hard-Fi, with a dash of dancepop thrown in to make sure people shake it. To say the least, Silent Alarm isn’t tough going.

The drums steal the show. They’re tight, fiercely driving, and I would even say tribal in spots. Kele, now known to a wider audience through his collaboration with Martin Solveig (http://youtu.be/orc9nAiEG_8), is brilliant.

Highlights include the raucous opener “Like Eating Glass” and “The Pioneers”. “Helicopter” is eminently listenable, but picking standouts on this disc is senseless. It’s a winner fore and aft. Especially if you listen to it in the shower.

Sounds like: a supposedly good makeout soundtrack?

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