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blocparty alphagames
Artist: Bloc Party
Title: Alpha Games
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: 29th April 2022
Label: BMG


Album Review

BLOC PARTY have, over their preceding five albums, managed that most peculiar of British feats, which is to dip a toe into the National Treasures Department. To achieve this, it helps to have enjoyed longevity through diversity. An explosive debut (the still spectacular ‘Silent Alarm’), plenty of genre-bending and experimentation on the following albums (it never did RADIOHEAD any harm), some bickering, a spot of ego strutting, inevitable solo offshoots and ill-judged right angles… and then a glorious return to form with everyone still standing and all being as it was (well, almost) in the beginning. We like that in Britain. It’s what we do.

‘Alpha Games’, three years in the making and with all four members fully contributing to the songwriting, does nothing to tarnish the BLOC PARTY reputation. Dispensing with any introductory pissing around, ‘Day Drinker’ does it all in one, from the off. Spiky and angry and happy and sad, a tumbling jumble-stream-of-consciousness becoming a glorious soaring by the chorus, and there’s every London band that’s ever existed in here somewhere - particularly BLUR and SUEDE. Although there’s no looking back - this is definitely an album for the here and now.

‘Traps’ thrashes about like an angry wasp, while ‘You Should Know The Truth’ throws in some call-and-response, the ideas coming seemingly from nowhere, the feeling that these songs are creative coiled springs, overwhelming at times. ‘Rough Justice’ is completely insane, thrumming and throbbing with menace, ‘Sex Magik’ a psychedelic skip around the peripheries of glorious pop, ‘In Situ’ fussing and hustling to race by in under three minutes, bursting with look-at-me. And there could be no better close to this album than the spoken word melancholy, the whispered conspiratorial tone, of ‘The Peace Offering’, an uneasy reflection as seen through the prism of a fractured few years, or the bottom of a whisky glass. Musically it increases in pace, becoming frantic, and intense and darker, while the voice drifts away into nothingness - this is a startlingly original and deeply disturbing piece of art.

BLOC PARTY have continued to soundtrack a peculiar sense of ordinary lives lived in extraordinary ways, their mastering of holding up a mirror both to themselves and the society around them, in a strangely cold and non-judgemental way, as sharp and relevant and humbling here as it has ever been. The National Treasures Department will be needing an extension.


Tracklist

01. Day Drinker
02. Traps
03. You Should Know The Truth
04. Callum Is A Snake
05. Rough Justice
06. The Girls Are Fighting
07. Of Things Yet To Come
08. Sex Magik
09. By Any Means Necessary
10. In Situ
11. If We Get Caught
12. The Peace Offering


Line-up

Kele Okereke – Vocals, Guitar
Russell Lissack – Guitar
Justin Harris – Bass
Louise Bartle – Drums


Website

https://www.blocparty.com / https://www.facebook.com/blocpartyofficial


Cover Picture

blocparty alphagames


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10




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