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(6 Music Festival 2016 and SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: Bloc Party perform ‘Exes’, from new album ‘Hymns’, live in London

 
By on Friday, 5th February 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

Bloc Party released their latest album ‘Hymns’ – their first in 4 years since 2012’s ‘Four’ – exactly a week ago. (Read Steven’s review of the LP back here.) As they say, sharing is caring, and Bloc Party – now original members frontman Kele Okereke and co-guitarist Russell Lissack, plus Justin Harris on bass and keys and Louise Bartle on drums – have now shared a live gig video of ‘Exes’, taken from the new album effort, filmed in London. Watch it below.

The band will be making two major event appearances this month and next. They’ll be playing the 6 Music Festival in Bristol Sunday night the 14th of February at Academy, as well appearing in America at SXSW 2016 in March in Austin. Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the NME Awards tour they’re currently headlining through next Friday, the 12th of February at Birmingham Academy. Phew! For more on Bloc Party on TGTF, head this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TElXFXG61U[/youtube]

 

(6 Music Festival 2016 and SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: Bloc Party – Hymns

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd February 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Bloc Party Hymns coverBloc Party are the definition of the word ‘evolution’. If you listen back to the sharp indie tones they burst onto the scene with ‘Silent Alarm’ back in 2005, you would struggle to believe that you’re listening to the same band now in 2016. Technically though, you aren’t listening to the same band. Only one half of the original lineup remains, with the band citing increased tension and disagreement in the barracks the reasoning for this.

What Bloc Party do here on ‘Hymns’ is, at the root of it all, be consistently inconsistent. This is something we’ve come to expect of them. Although after their debut they didn’t evolve the sound too much on 2006’s ‘A Weekend in the City’, third record ‘Intimacy’ was a full-on revolution in terms of the sound they created. Focusing more upon dance and electronic than indie rock, it was a brave and bold move that saw tracks such as ‘Flux’ and ‘One More Chance’ becoming massive Bloc Party staples, just sans guitars. Fourth album ‘Four’ was the weakest in this evolution, where the collapse of the band was seemingly imminent, and a Kele Okereke solo album showing where this evolution stemmed from. Now, none of this is necessarily a bad thing; It shows they can develop and evolve beyond being a one trick pony. But to the extent shown here, where one track is barely similar to the next, you find it hard to engage and follow the record. But, it’s still entertaining, as much as a McDonald’s burger is still food, but it’s not so exciting, so you just don’t Instagram it.

Opener ‘The Love Within’ was our first look at this second coming of Bloc Party, and it was met with a mixed reaction. The sound itself is not too dissimilar to that of ‘Four’ or ‘Intimacy’, but it’s the approach they take that lends itself to the confused reception. It seems almost abrasive in its attempts to be an opening statement telling us this record won’t be a return to 2005-era Bloc Party. This continues through to ‘Only He Can Heal Me’, which is a soft, yet dark dance track.

Track four ‘Good News’ becomes almost the Bloc Party twist on country, with a devilish helping of slide guitar that complements the chord structure beautifully. Of course, the next track is the exact opposite: ‘Fortress’ is soft, a sentimental dance track that relies upon a low rumble of bass to push it forward with synthesised drums providing the percussion rather than the human equivalent found in new drummer Louise Bartle.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox68svCfm8k[/youtube]

‘Into Earth’ has a softer version of the twinned, alternating guitar progressions we’ve come to love and adore from both Okereke and co-guitarist Russell Lissack. Think ‘Banquet’, but if it was given some Valium. “You’ve seen the colour of my cash, does it not impress you, was I too flash?” is sung almost seductively by Okereke. The majority of the record from here carries on into a similar fashion: there are no particular fast numbers per se, and it all remains at a steady tempo, which can at times be a bit of a struggle to get through.

This is an evolution that Bloc Party have taken which, on an artistic level, has a lot of merit, though strictly it wasn’t necessary. While on the previous two albums, they’d already broken past being a straightforward guitar band and proving they had more to say, this new LP feels like an accumulation of trying to bury that past forever and sending out a new statement of who they are what they do now. Obviously it breaks boundaries and attempts new sounds, but at the same, it can be quite dull. Hopefully with time the new lineup will begin to pull together a sound that is a more controlled culmination of everything they’ve done so far rather than a proverbial smorgasbord of anything and everything.

6.5/10

Bloc Party’s fifth album ‘Hymns’, their first in 4 years, is out now on Infectious Records in the UK and Vagrant Records in North America. They’re currently headlining the NME Awards tour through next Friday, the 12th of February at Birmingham Academy. They’ll also be appearing at the 6 Music Festival in Bristol the weekend directly after, as well as SXSW 2016 in March in Austin. To read more coverage on Bloc Party on TGTF, head here.

 

NME Awards Tour / January and February 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 4th November 2015 at 9:30 am
 

The NME Awards Tour 2016 has announced alt-rock quartet Bloc Party as its headline act, with support from Sheffield rock duo Drenge, hip-hop punk artist Rat Boy and Manchester grime musician Bugzy Malone.  Bloc Party last played the NME Awards Tour as newcomers to the scene way back in 2005.  Their new LP ‘Hymns’ is due for release on the day the tour begins, and they will be performing some of the new songs live for the very first time at these shows.

As we saw in 2015, the city of Austin, Texas is once again a primary sponsor of the NME Awards Tour 2016.  In addition, all tickets will include a 50p donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Tickets for the following shows will be available for general sale this Friday, the 6th of November 2015.

Friday 29th January 2016 – Cardiff Great Hall
Saturday 30th January 2016 – Southampton Guildhall
Monday 1st February 2016 – Bristol Academy
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 4th February 2016 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 5th February 2016 – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 6th February 2016 – Manchester Academy
Monday 8th February 2016 – Leeds Academy
Tuesday 9th February 2016 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Thursday 11th February 2016 – London Brixton Academy
Friday 12th February 2016 – Birmingham Academy

 

Video of the Moment #1239: Bloc Party

 
By on Thursday, 27th June 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

The new Bloc Party track ‘Ratchet’ gives me a headache; the rhythm and Kele’s voice are both kind of annoying. But I know you lot, there are a lot of you who are Bloc Party fans from way back, and it looks like they might be going on indefinite hiatus again, so yes. I’m posting this for YOU. Watch it below.

The song appears on the band’s ‘The Nextwave Sessions’, to be released on the 12th of August on Frenchkiss.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3EEaPj-5qs[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1097: Bloc Party

 
By on Monday, 21st January 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Bloc Party‘s new single ‘Truth’ will be released on the 25th of February on Frenchkiss Records, has its own new music video. Like most Bloc Party videos, it’s very odd, but in this one, I really feel sorry for the band’s eyes and noses. See what I mean by watching the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1CSMdDIRGg[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #998: Bloc Party

 
By on Monday, 8th October 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

According to Kele Okereke, Bloc Party‘s video for their next single ‘Kettling’ (out the 12th of November on Frenchkiss) was based on the rioting being reported on our television screens in 2011. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk-J1zT7TfQ[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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