Bloc Party

Ladies and gentlemen, meet this year's Killers. Although the two acts bear very little sonic kinship -- aside from the fact that they're both drawing upon influences that predate them by at least two decades -- like its Vegas-bred counterparts in 2004, Bloc Party is riding the crest of one helluva post-SXSW buzz. By the end of the summer, the band will likely be as ubiquitous as the Killers were last year. Fortunately, the hyperventilation is mostly warranted. Musically, Silent Alarm, the followup to last year's eponymous EP, is sharp and focused -- even if it's overtly derivative. These four Brits essentially resemble a composite sketch of Gang of Four, the Police, Joy Division, the Cure and vintage U2. Even so, the frenetic drumming, throbbing bass and alternating off-kilter and echo-laden guitar lines sound as fresh as they did back then. Bloc Party would've been an also-ran during the Reagan era, but Silent Alarm is as close as anyone from this so called neo-British invasion has come to producing a classic.


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