For Bloc Party, the smashing success of 2005's Silent Alarm could have sealed its fate, time-stamped it as a post-Strokes dance-rock band strapped tight to an expired decade. But the U.K. quartet pushed through, continuing to find subtle triumphs, its catchy post-punk style shining through on two more stylistically steady releases, the critic-polarizing A Weekend in the City and Intimacy. In 2009, the group went on hiatus, and lead singer Kele Okereke stepped out on his own as a solo artist. But Bloc Party returned in the summer of 2012 with the aptly titled Four, a raucous record that gave the traditional rock band a new rhythmic dynamism in which co-founder Russell Lissack's guitar work got heavier, channeling a Siamese Dream-era Billy Corgan. But perhaps the most defining aspect of the act's jagged sound was Okereke's vocals, which have undergone a makeover, as well: His token sassy sing-talking style is still there, but his range and strength have matured pleasantly.
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