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Bloc Party
SILENT ALARM
(Vice)

As heirs to the jagged English post-punk tradition that young bands from New York canít get no satisfaction cribbing from, Londonís Bloc Party are as likely to fill their music with right-angle guitar noise and stop-and-start percussive action as any other indie group right now. And indeed, on their hotly awaited debut, the band offer plenty of the taut dance-rock moves that get former Superchunk fans moving on both sides of the Atlantic. The opening "Like Eating Glass" motors along on a brisk cross-current of trebly six-string chatter; Gordon Moakesís muscular bass line imparts a sense of funk to "Helicopter"; "Positive Tension" starts off with the restrained keyboard squelches and hand-drum accents of a vintage Talking Heads track. But though you can hear a top-notch party band here, Bloc Party are more than collectors of riffs and beats. Frontman Kele Okereke is their not-so-secret weapon. On "Banquet," the current single, he sings with a young manís abandon about "turning away from the light, becoming adult." And when guitarist Russell Lissack adds a delicate little fillip of clean-channel guitar in the tuneís chorus, the song accrues a vulnerability that hardly any of this bandís peers seems interested in.

(Bloc Party headline the Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, this Tuesday, April 5, with French Toast and the Ponys ; call 617-562-8800.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: April 1 - 7, 2005
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