Bloc Party seem to be set on painting a new image of themselves, and with the release of new material comes the sign of a further shift away from the funk-punk indie rock of 2005’s Silent Alarm, which will be fondly remembered as one of the great pioneering noughties albums as it is what the band have built their respected cult status upon.
This perception may seem rather unfair but the twangy riff, which drones on throughout new single ‘The Good News’, highlights a reluctance from the band to leave their comfort zone, and is a world away from the chaotic material of yesteryear. Even lead singer Kele Okereke sounds lethargic, apparently unwilling to venture beyond any vocal barriers. Lyrics such as “every day is in repeat / like a carrier bag stuck in a tree” struggle to stir a sense of excitement, leaving those listening pondering whether they’re actually listening to the band renowned for their electronically energised content.
The comparisons to pre-2013 Bloc Party are inevitable, but Okereke heavily influences this experimental sound and he seems keen to move the band in a direction similar to that of his dance-led solo material. But lets not forget, this is a new band, with a new line-up and a new sound. If Okereke’s solo material is anything to go on, then the ‘new’ Bloc Party have very solid foundations from which to build from and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Words by Lewis Evans