ALBUM REVIEW// Bloc Party – Four

It’s a shame no band from the early naughties couldn’t survive. Four is definitely the worst we have heard from Bloc Party so far…

Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight and now Bloc Party have dwindled. Who would have thought a change in drummer would change everything so drastically? I have been a life long fan of Bloc Party and one of their final gigs before Kele went off with ’The Boxer”, in the Astoria was (and to some degree still is) one of the best gigs I have ever been to. Now, I don’t believe that Bloc Party’s live performance will be anything less spectacular than it ever was however, I do believe that their gigs will be inhibited by the tracks they will undoubtedly perform off this new album:

1.) So He Begins To Lie.

This track begins with a messy drum kick followed by feedback and false starts. It is just a real let down for an album opener. How could Kele and the group drop from their electro experiments of “Intimacy” into this loud messy cluster fuck.

2.) 3×3

Kele chants “No one loves you”, which is exactly what I was thinking throughout the song. This song has sinister aspect to it, but it’s lost in the messy guitar and Kele’s wails. Just when you thought the first track was an anomaly 3×3 is that dreadful kick while your down.

3.) Octopus

At first listen I really did not like this song. I was thinking where is the ‘Flux’, ‘The Prayer’, ‘Positive Tension’? But after listening to the album for two weeks in order to see if it is a grower or not I discovered more to Octopus. It has the glitchy aspect of ‘Intimacy’ we all got used to. The chorus is fairly infectious and it is one of the few tracks that does stick with you.

4.) Real Talk

Finally this track is a breath of fresh air. It’s what it says on the tin, there is no messy guitar and wailing vocals it is clean and a break from the sharpness of the rest of the album. In fact it even has a degree of beauty. There’s a banjo in it! Who would have guessed that? This is a nice new side to Bloc Party… Until it gets to Kele’s talking at the end.

5.) Kettling

This protest song is a bit of a grower. At first listen it’s heavy and punchy and quite hard to listen to but after a few listens it is quite an interesting track especially in comparison to others. But if you are not going to have the patience to give it a few listens I doubt Kettling will be for you.

6.) Day Four

For a song which starts off sounding like a remix of David Guetta’s “Titanium” Day Four is a nice reminder of what Bloc Party used to be. Day four takes us back to the root of Bloc Party, glittered with remnants of “Silent Alarm” and proves to be my favourite track on the album.

7.) Coliseum

When I first heard it, I was in awe. Amazing! A new bluesy side to Bloc Party! But like most of the tracks on Four you are in for an unpleasant surprise. The cool and gripping bluesy beginning is completely drowned in the overwhelming heavy guitar riffs. making the entire song sound as if someone decided to give up on covering Beck and decided to attempt a Metallica song instead.

8.) V.A.L.I.S

Bloc have seriously gone pop in this one. Easy listening. Not terrible, but not what we all hoped from Bloc Party’s revival. Sadly, it’s just a little bit bland.

9.) Team A

In my opinion this is the other stand out track off the album and I hope it will be the second single. It’s fast paced but ordered much like “Helicopter”. Team A is what Kele probably wanted from Four, it has that old Bloc Party we all love with the powerful heavy guitars they seem to employ in almost every song on Four. Team A is a must buy for Bloc Party fans, it’s a shame I can’t say the same for the whole album.

10.) Truth

Another poppy track, however unlike V.A.L.I.S it’s not bland, like Day Four it has a degree of beauty to it. Truth is a track to buy even though it may be a cornier side to Bloc Party. Truth steers away from the heavy, overwhelming guitar and creates an ecstatic infatuation you will not find anywhere else on the album.

11.) The Healing

To be honest, I enjoyed The Healing. In comparison to the other tracks Bloc Party have churned out it is nothing but once again it provides a nice escape from the headache of Four’s heavy guitars. Nothing special, it’s just like a diamond among rocks.

12.) We Are Not Good People

They got that right. You’re terrible people Bloc Party, after 2 great tracks and the mellowness of The Healing you have to go and injure our eardrums again with the heavy metal mess that is your closing track. This closing to the album is effectively the final kick in the bollocks, lulling you into a false sense of security Bloc Party do not fail to remind you that their revival has been 3 steps backward.

A revival is not easy, they never are, many have fallen. It’s a shame this album is too “rough around the edges” for a revival but to me this album could have been “Silent Alarm’s” predecessor it sounds like a young group of boys playing loudly in a room…

I can see why they called it Four. Four years on from “Intimacy”, four band members, fourth album, ONLY FOUR GOOD SONGS.

Day Four, Team A, Truth, Real Talk.

The album cover is unfortunately as exciting as the album itself.

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