‘FOUR’ (French Kiss)
Recommended Track3X3, The Healing, Real Talk
Reunited out of love or necessity… when the music’s this good it doesn’t really matter, does it? While ‘FOUR’ doesn’t quite hit the giddy heights of Bloc Party’s much-lauded debut, it’s the closest they’ve come to bettering it.
And, whoah, it’s heavy. Russell Lissack puts in a devastating performance, pilfering the most frenetic stabs and screeches of Magazine, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine and ‘Origin Of Symmetry’-era Muse and making them his own, so it’s Kele Okereke’s job to keep it contemporary, which he does with menacing eloquence. ‘Kettling’ and ‘We Are Not Good People’ are riddled with leftover riot rage, and ‘So He Begins To Lie’ is a pretty effective anthem to ConDem apathy, as the frontman snarls “the camera’s watching and the camera’s watching him lie”.
The jittery paranoia, hunger and passion that first excited us about Bloc Party is back in abundance on this record, but what makes it even more compelling is the added wisdom that comes from those years in-between. Club-Kele’s beats are nowhere to be seen, but without eight exhausting years of highs and lows he could never have sung about love the way he does on ‘Real Talk’ and ‘Truth’, or penned a lyric like ‘The Healing’’s “stay with me, my dear, as life gets harder”.
On ‘FOUR’ Bloc Party manage to make their affecting and dizzyingly devilish music sound relevant and exciting again. And with releases from The Killers, The Vaccines and Biffy Clyro on the horizon, is this the fi rst of 2012’s great guitar pop comebacks? It might just be, you know.