Bloc Party’s single, ‘Banquet’, has been a hit in the British clubs for months, and for good reason. Kele Okereke’s staccato delivery countered by vamping guitars, a driving drum line and the occasional futuristic synth is impossible to resist. Don’t worry if you can’t dance, because Matt Tong is such a brilliant drummer he’ll make you feel like you can. They’re calling this post-dash-punk by way of funk or something, but really, who cares what they’re calling it? It’s the most fun you’ve had in a long time.
A first listen to a Bloc Party song is like watching fireworks — the jagged guitar riff, the surprise of vocals entering half a beat early, the drummer’s razor-sharp 32nd notes — everything feels spontaneous and surprising, though it’s been carefully scripted. The chord progressions are less than revolutionary, but call-and-response patterns between vocals and guitar keep the melody line moving around. Bloc Party isn’t afraid of dropping the beat in the middle of a song, and they’re not afraid to be exuberant. Their energy is infectious. These songs cajole, seduce, implore, and demand you to jump into the music — to bang that kettle drum, shout that "Hey, hey, hey," dance with child-like abandon.
They’re singing about the same old rock stuff — girls, war, consumption, feeling lost — so what makes Bloc Party different, and better? Maybe it’s the tension between their short, scripted songs and the bigger energy threatening to break free. Maybe it’s the way their syncopated beats hit you just before you’re quite ready for them. Maybe it’s their sincerity. Maybe it’s their penchant for arpeggiated guitar riffs and bridges with gospel-style backup vocals. I’m at a loss. But when they sing, "Come on I know that you want it," they’re right. I do.