Bloc Party: Two More Years

BP stop moaning and make a rather lovely single

Kele Okereke’s recent slamming of “soundbite” rock actually says far more about his own band’s taste for tight economy and lyrical opacity than it does about Green Day’s rambunctious sloganeering. If the said comments had the effect of making Bloc Party look like rather prissy little madams, however, rest assured that such ill will has not tainted their skill for a certain crystalline rock beauty. Here, on the first new material since ‘Silent Alarm’, those Bloc constants – shattered-glass riffing, PiL-esque mausoleum drumming – remain intact. As ever, that it works is down to the way BP inject just the right amount of humanity into these skeletal frameworks. Essentially, it’s a love song, Okereke serenading his “beloved polar bear” over balletic crests of guitar. But – and here’s the rub – it’s a story about love’s glimmer fading. As ever with Bloc, it’s a song that poses questions it pointedly refuses to answer; sometimes, you see, it’s better that way. When it peaks, though, you’ll understand: “They say be brave/There’s a right way and a wrong way” coos Kele, on the lip of a pulsing, disco-tinged chorus that chisels beautiful shapes out of their icy resolve. Strong words, softly spoken.