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Late to the Bloc Party

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Gah, beaten to it.

It all feels very sudden. Even the Radiohead release had time to simmer and get some hype, I'm not sure I like how quickly this has been sprung about us and the lack of any track list or album art.

It's going to be fucking shit isn't it.

Oh wait a minute...


01 Ares

02 Mercury

03 Halo

04 Biko

05 Trojan Horse

06 Signs

07 One Month Off

08 Zephyrus

09 Better Than Heaven

10 Ion Square

Those track titles sound awfully pretensious which is potentially bad news.

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It all feels very sudden. Even the Radiohead release had time to simmer and get some hype, I'm not sure I like how quickly this has been sprung about us and the lack of any track list or album art.

Nah, I totally love this way of doing things (though, yeah, only 2 days of wait is silly). I hate it when things are announced several months (or in some cases, years) before coming out. It's honestly ruined my enjoyment of some things because it no longer feels new or a surprise. I'd probably even preferred if they'd not released the album cover or track listing, and kept it all secretive. This method is better than: announcement - new album in 2 months! A week later, a shitty low quality album leak, some people listen to it. You're jealous of people talking about it, but can't be arsed waiting for 2 months.

With those titles, this could at least be a ridiculous pop album. And at least this way, it'll all come down to how good it is.

See? I hated Mercury but am excited now. Even if it's shit, I'll probably like it.

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Yes. Thank you! I've been thinking that for ages. He seems to go up at the end of the first line in a very similar way for a lot of songs.

The opening lines "give me grace and dancing feet" and "waiting for the 7:18" always sounded very samey to me. More in cadence than tune, but a bit with the tune as well. (Edit, ok I don't know what cadence means. The rhythm of the singing is what I mean.)


, is that almost exactly the same riff or what. It's been bugging me ever since I heard both songs.
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Does he at any point sing the following? (I've tried to illustrate it on a four line scale-type thing. Read all lines across at the same time from left to right.)

--- --- --- --- --- DEE DEE DA-

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- AAA

Doo doo doo --- --- --- --- ---

--- --- --- --- doo --- ---

As he seems to do that in every bloody song.

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Don't know what to say, really. Parts of it seem good, other parts seem like wanky self-indulgence, other parts seem like contractual obligations to make a couple of Banquet-esque tracks to satisfy the record label.

Added to that, Kele's voice is starting to annoy me. He's got himself into a habit: bugger-all melody, lots of yelping, lots of straining, lots of shouting. And he endlessly repeats certain little runs in nearly all of the songs of the last album and this one too.

Having said all this, it's better than A Weekend In The City, but after the first couple of listens, it's no Silent Alarm. Worth a listen, though. There are two or three pretty good tracks on it in the second half. And Mercury doesn't sound nearly as bad when it's surrounded by other songs in the album format!

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EDIT: Originally, I said this...

I was facepalming at the song that namechecks Bob Dylan a lot, though.

However, apologies to Kele. He actually says, "I'm not... doing... this... alone." Couldn't make it out on the stereo, could on headphones!

(Anyone want to tell me what the chorus to Biko is?)

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I only listened to half of it but it's not that bad. That last post was based on the first song which is eighteen kinds of Does It Offend You-esque awful.

Second half's better. For my second listen, I skipped the first two tracks. I might try the opener again at some point.

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Well, I listened to the entire album on the way to my girlfriend's house.

It's fucking terrible. An album full of ideas, but no direction at all. I agree with Eighthours about Kele, he singlehandedly ruins every song with his terrible non-melodies (which ALL SOUND THE SAME) and his rubbish lyrics. Now, I'm always happy to overlook crap lyrics if there's a good hook, a good melody, but there's nothing. He adds nothing to any of the arrangements. The only melody i can remember is the chorus to Mercury. :wub: Then I remember some other song sounded like Panic At The Disco. And then the other one's sounded like some Bloc Party song I heard before.

It's sad, because the musicianship is great. They're a tight band, they play together really well, the majority of the songs here have the potential to be amazing. Signs as an instrumental is wonderful. And then he starts singing and the song instantly becomes average. And Jesus, Kele's voice has been autotuned/melodyned to death on every song. The life has been sucked out of his voice, he sounds like a robot. I mean, he's not a great singer, but it didn't matter on Silent Alarm or the EPs. People are quite happy to let indie singers sing slightly off key, you can get away with it.

I think we've been fucking fooled guys. Kele was never a good lyricist, never a good songwriter, never a good singer. Just that on Silent Alarm, he got away with it, because he hadn't regurgitated his one melody, we hadn't heard him yelp on 30 songs, we hadn't become familiar with the spikey guitars. (For a second during One Month Off, I swear Bloc Party had sampled the guitars and end solo from Banquet. But no... just reusing the same guitar parts. sigh).

Jesus, I'm venting. I used to like this band. When I first heard Helicopter, I was blown away by it's awesomeness. I thought Weekend In The City was terrible, but Prayer is a hell of the song.

But man, this is rubbish. And LittleJoe is right, the production is terrible.

Shit shit shit.

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This band always seems to be compared to Radiohead by its fans. And whilst musically I've never heard it, it's sort of becoming true in the sense that they seem to changing their sound at the behest of the lead singer. However unlike Radiohead, they're not comfortably moving into a new sound and the songs sound conflicted. Neither the guitars or the keys/synths/electro stuff sound suitably melodic or interesting to justify a whole song.

You can almost imagine Russel writing a good guitar riff and the drummer getting a lovely drum solo to go with it. Then Kele comes in, having just listened to some limited edition Iranian powerhouse, and goes "No, No, No guys we really want to move away from this achetypal 'Indie' guitar driven sound, we need to innovate and mess it up a little, make it a little more electro a little more forward thinking, yea?" And the band just kind of look at each other and sigh.

Silent Alarm was so good, I wish they'd just stick to that. I don't say this, as I reckon the majority of Bloc Party fans say it, because I want my favourite 'Indie' band to stay 'Indie' just because they seem incredibly uncomfortable and generally shite doing anything other than the guitar driven stuff.

The production sounds especially bad on Halo, which sounds as if it's meant to have a huge 'wall of sound' at certain points but it just sounds rather flat and 'squashed'.

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Grrrr! Like Ares. It opens up quite lovely and OTT, like YEAH COME ON IT'S GONNA BE BIG!

Then Kele just comes in with complete bollocks. The 'talky' bits where the music strips down are complete cringe.

EDIT: Although I do think I'm starting to enjoy Mercury in an ironic way.

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At this point in their career, based on the promise of Silent Alarm, they should have delivered a stratospheric record (like Radiohead did with OK Computer). But, although Intimacy is better than AWITC, and I'm sure I'll listen to it a fair bit more, it's probably the final nail in the coffin of the idea of Bloc Party ever being a really great band. A damn shame.

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That was terrible imo, all over the place. Echoing what everyone else has said, I quite like Mercury now, weirdly, given where it sits on the album. As noted by someone elsewhere though, Ares borrows a lot from Chemical Brothers' Setting Sun. Signs reminds me Bjork's Frosti. I quite like the album..I got through it anyway. It's spontaneous and upbeat in a way AWITC isn't..but they still lack the edginess that I loved on Silent Alarm.

Why is Kele so happy and pleased? Can he not take a step back?

Their first ever tv performance


How fucking good is that? Lightning fast drumming. Kele singing with real attitude, like his life depends on it. Twin guitars going at crazy speeds. First time I'd seen them. I never thought of them as a mainstream band really. The attention probably effectively ruined them. Or just Kele.

(and Like Eating Glass: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOizkeCmWC0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOizkeCmWC0</a> )

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Awesome indeed. They are a great live band, was really pleasantly surprised when I saw them at Alexandra Palace last Winter. Their music is really anthemic and uplifting but not at all in a cliched or insincere way. Even the stuff of A Weekend In The City was excellent.

That Mercury live video however looks so amateur and just messy, it isn't helped that the composition of the song itself is unecessarily messy anyway. That vocal 'twang' that Kele seems to have picked up somewhere imbeteewn 2006-2007 is so annoying and overused it's almost a parody of his own singing style.

I've nothing against them trying something new outside of the angular guitar anthems, but this just feels so...messy and half baked.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The download-only version of Intimacy is missing some songs that will be on the "physical" release in October, and one of them has made its way onto the radio. It's called "Talons" and it's... well... alright.

Leaving songs off one release to ensure more copies sold for the other (many fans will presumably buy both in the end to get the extra tracks on the CD) is an interesting strategy.

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