Bloc Party EP by Bloc Party (Review)

There’s a rawness and unsteadiness to Bloc Party’s sound which is both their saving grace and greatest shortcoming.
Bloc Party EP - Bloc Party

If one measures the success of a CD by the extent to which it gets one out of their chair, causes them to shake their ass, dance like they’re having an epileptic fit, pose and preen, and do their best Andy Gill impression, then I suppose I’d have to consider Bloc Party E.P. as one of 2004’s real gems. Honestly, I had to shut my bedroom door when I first listened to this disc lest either of my roommates come up the stairs and see me busting out all of my indie hipster dance moves.

Like Franz Ferdinand or Interpol, Bloc Party’s ancestry is obvious from the get go. Take a little Seventeen Seconds-era Cure, throw in some Joy Division (were they purposefully trying to channel Ian Curtis on “She’s Hearing Voices”?), and a shred or two of Gang Of Four’s jittery guitar lines, and you’ve basically got Bloc Party’s music in a formula.

However, unlike their obvious contemporaries, which are polished and preened to a fault, there’s a certain rawness and unsteadiness to Bloc Party’s sound which is both their saving grace and greatest shortcoming.

There are numerous times on each of Bloc Party E.P.s 6 songs where it feels as is the band is nearly tripping over each other in the studio, the guitars sounding as if they just went out of whack (though you can’t be sure), the drums might’ve missed a beat or two, and the bassline drops a note here and there. However, a track like “The Answer” launches from the gate with so much nervous, twitchy energy that it’s hard not to bounce up and down along with its bassline, or go along for the ride as the song whips through breakneck choruses and lets out all the stops on the final stretch.

And if I was really wanting to sarcastic and bitchy, I’d make some snide comment about the “Disco Edit” of “Banquet” the closes out the disc, and how it sounds like the band listened to a bit too much Faint before slicing and dicing. But then I’d have to deny getting all giddy at the skronky synths that stutter and spit all over the song, not to mention the fact that, 9 times out of 10, you can catch me practicing my best post-punk bass player poses, jerking back and forth to the beat.

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