Bloc Party - Hymns

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 25 / 3 / 2016

Bloc Party - Hymns

Label: Infectious Music
Format: CD
Impressive and infectious return-to-form on experimental fifth album from London-based band, Bloc Party,


The original line-up of Bloc Party consisted of singer/guitarist Kele Okereke, guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist/singer Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong. They were initially known as Angel Range and then Union before they settled on Bloc Party. Okereke and Lissack met each other through mutual friends, and Tong and Moakes soon joined their collaboration. As Union, they issued a demo in early 2003, and later that year they switched their name to Bloc Party. Their debut album, 'Silent Alarm', appeared early in 2005, and later that year 'Silent Alarm Remixed' capitalized on the band's spiralling popularity. 'A Weekend in the City', Bloc Party's second proper album, followed in 2007, and their third album, 'Intimacy', arrived in the late summer of 2008. After this, Okereke began working on songs on his own, and in 2010, the single 'Tenderoni' arrived, revealing that Okereke's solo work was more dance-oriented than his music with Bloc Party. The following year Bloc Party reunited to release their fourth album, 'Four', which came out in August 2012. Tong left the band in 2013, and in early in 2015 Moakes announced that he had left also. The band returned last August and included new members Justin Harris - formerly of the band Menomena - on bass and Louise Bartle on drums. Bloc Party are inspired by the sounds of bands like Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Gang of Four and the Cure, and hail from Bethnal Green in East London. The group's fifth album, 'Hymns', is an all together more soulful, groove- orientated affair that will not appeal to all but for me it's a return to form. There have been a few negative remarks on the Bloc Party Facebook page, and one guy even said, "At least we have 'Silent Alarm' to go back to." 'Silent Alarm' was a fantastic album but times move on. 'Hymns' to me shows Bloc Party trying to experiment and take their sound somewhere new without compromising their guitar roots. Kele's voice is stronger and purer. You don't have to be a good singer nowadays. In fact, most really good bands are better when they have someone more raw-edged, but Kele, however, is turning into a good singer. A good singer and an eagerly experimental Russell Lissack can only be good, can't it? They still have a club and dance vibe at places on the album if you listen hard enough, but this for me is a welcome return to the Bloc Party I know and love. Now I'm excited about what they are going to do next. Marvellous!

Track Listing:-

1 The Love Within
2 Only He Can Heal Me
3 So Real
4 The Good News
5 Fortress
6 Different Drugs
7 Into the Earth
8 My True Name
9 Virtue
10 Exes
11 Living Lux
12 Eden
13 New Blood
14 Paraíso
15 Evening Song

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Live Reviews

Rock City, Nottingham, 2/2/2016
Bloc Party - Rock City, Nottingham, 2/2/2016
Dave Goodwin finds Rock City in Nottingham is the latest venue to witness Bloc Party back to their best, who were headlining the latest 'NME' tour

Digital Downloads



Talons (2008)
Second single from Bloc Party's 'Intimacy' album, which comes with a fine set of remixes
Mercury (2008)
Silent Alarm (2005)
Helicopter (2004)

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