Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Bloc Party -- Bloc Party EP
Dim Mak; 2004

Bloc Party, for those of you who haven't melted your eyes reading NYC-related blogs for the last few months (I'm an addict; leave me alone!), is a British foursome that has made small but rhythmic waves with their Gang of Four-styled post punk. While that's hardly a point of uniqueness these days, Bloc Party does a decent job at it. Bloc Party EP is a sharp, poppy affair that finds the group working hard and showing off talent, all for an unoriginal end.

The sound of Bloc Party EP is earnest and energetic. "Staying Fat" has guitarist/vocalist Kele Okereke and other guitarist Russell Lissack firing sonic bullets at each other with sniper accuracy; "Banquet" bounces around like a Killers single with more oomph; and "She's Hearing Voices" throbs in a gangly Sonic Youth kind of way. What irks me is that all of these songs are blatantly derivative and only leave me with the impression that Bloc Party would make a decent cover band. Compounding this weakness is Okereke's voice. With a voice that blends TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and all of the Futureheads guys, it's not his singing that puts him out -- it's his yelling voice. Terribly nasal and akin to an inside joke that Brits might pull on us Yanks, Okereke's often used yelp detracts greatly from the rest of the band's efforts. Bloc Party still has a lot of room to grow, but if this EP is telling at all, their skills will definitely pay the bills if they push their creative boundaries a bit.

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