Sound the alarm!
For anyone who was a fan of the mid 2000s era of indie Brit-rock, it comes as good news that British band Bloc Party are taking it back to where it all began, performing their classic debut album Silent Alarm in full across Australia for the very first time.
In the early 2000s, Bloc Party were just four Londoners emerging into a post-Strokes world buzzing with a newly discovered love of angular guitars. Led by Kele Okereke’s emotive lyrics, exploring socio-political themes alongside his own feelings of hopelessness and weariness, alongside the combination of guitars and electronics, Bloc Party drove centimetre perfect incisions into the bedrock of indie song-craft.
It was from here that the band unleashed their era-defining albums in early 2005. Silent Alarm was an immediate hit as it burned up the English and American album charts, inspiring breathless reviews wherever it was heard and even earning Bloc Party a Mercury Prize nomination.
Hit singles from the album, including ‘Banquet͛’, ‘Helicopter͛’ and ‘Positive Tension’, truly put Bloc Party’s technicolour ambitions on dazzling display as they joined bands like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand in ushering in a new generation of English guitar bands to the world.
The album itself was a massive crossover hit with fans of rock and electronic music alike, helped in part by its release on electro producer Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label, and thus the group quickly became favourites for Australian music fans with three of the group’s tracks making their way into the triple j Hottest 100 that year with ‘Two More Years’ coming in at #23, ‘Helicopter’ at #40 and ‘Positive Tension’ at #45.
In the months that followed the release of Silent Alarm, the album went on to sell more than 350,000 copies in North America and over a million worldwide. The mighty album has since been heralded as one of the most influential and important of the decade, and despite being thirteen years since its release back in February of 2005, Silent Alarm still sounds as fresh, inventive and emotionally resonant as it did on its first release.
More than just your ordinary garage band; Bloc Party are a band that has left a legacy of scope, vision and incendiary pop songs for their fans to pour over for the past decade since Silent Alarm’s release.
The only thing truly separating the upcoming set from 2005 is the band’s line-up. While Matt Tong’s drumming and Gordon Moakes’ bass lines smash through the Silent Alarm album, they both left the band in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Now with founding members Russell Lissack and Kele Okereke leading the charge, alongside new members Justin Harris on bass and Louise Bartle on drums, Australia will be given a rare opportunity to experience an album recently described by Complex Magazine as a long-overdue reminder of how urgent and exciting rock could be.
As the sound track for everything from all night raves to desolate breakups, Silent Alarm has earned a special place in the heart of its fans. Arguably, it could be called one of the best albums of all time, and one you won’t want to miss hearing live come November.
When & Where: Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – November 27. Tickets via Secret Sounds.