Any first impression blog post I do about Bloc Party comes with the caveat that I insanely adore Bloc Party. It took me about three years to admit that Intimacy maybe wasn’t as good as I maintained it to be – any album with Ion Square, Ares and Halo certainly isn’t bad though – and I even hold a soft spot for last year’s Four.
So I was completely blindsided by the news that not only there was a new Bloc Party song, there was also going to be a short EP – The Nextwave Sessions – released this summer, according to NME. Sound the hyperbole alarms, I’m getting full on prepared to clamber aboard a hype train.
Ahem, before all that nonsense, why not have a cheeky listen to it? I guarantee you won’t regret it.
It’s a departure from the more muscular tracks – Coliseum and He Begins To Lie spring to mind here – of Four, managing to subtly mix Kele’s solo dance sensibilities with Bloc Party’s older more angular indie leanings. Straight away, you’ve got a guitar hook that I have a sneaking suspicion might end up being one of Bloc Party’s most memorable, while Gordy’s bass is in full-on slink mode in the background throughout, moving away from the grungy thrash of songs like We Are Not Good People into something that resembles early Rapture, building to a close that is a tidal wave of sound. It’s loose and fun in a way that is catchy without being irritating.
On top of that Kele’s vocals are on confrontation mode, opening with the sort of snarl that he perfected on Ares and it boasts a booming chorus that could see Bloc Party burst back into the dancefloors they captured with Flux and One More Chance.
As I warned at the start, I’m severely fanboy-ish for Bloc Party. They were one of the first bands I truly loved – even went to see them by myself at Wolverhampton because of course I would – and any new material from them will be treated with the utmost fervour and rose-tinted goggles in these parts.
That having been said, Ratchet is the sort of song I missed on Four, it’s catchy, demands repeat listens and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Kele warns to “Make it count” throughout. Bloc Party have with this comeback.