Wednesday, July 16, 2008

in retrograde

ok. so. i really should be telling you all about how i hung out with emo kids in Cambridge and walked 8 miles to chocolate box villages. but. but. 

easily one of the most intelligent cerebral political bands out there at the moment and they know how to get the party started. fuck. i didn't just say that. they totally don't get the party started. Bloc Party are the band that set the party on fire and say "yeah, well. i don't really like parties that much anyway. didn't i see you eating chicken tikka at the protest last week?" Bloc Party are the band that scare Americans, according to my new friend Billy (who's planning on marrying Brendon Urie, Lizzle) because they have a clinical edge to them that makes them warm - check songs like Cavaliers & Roundheads with its rapid fire "sometimes I want to hurt you" chorus, juxtaposed with the fantastic Waiting For The 7.18 which begs "let's drive to Brighton on the weekend". not many bands have the ability to reach out to everyone and start sparks.

So new song, "Mercury." I think it came out a month or so ago. It picks up where "Flux" left off. Flux being one of my favourite songs from this year with its hysteria and its global focus - it felt like one of those songs that made you part of the rest of the world, made you think you weren't the only one but you could be the only one (coherency, Madeleine. work on it) "Mercury" is a classic disco edge, looping Kele's voice to create a prophetic alarming opening. It's lacking in Bloc Party's traditional jagged guitars, but the synths and what I think are trumpets build a fantastic post 9/11, 7/7 soundscape. Bloc Party seem fascinated by the culture of surveillance and terror that we're wrapped in. The drums. Oh. My. God. African in origin, warped to something post modern and paranoid. Lyrically we have a global setting that jumps from Sydney to London to Williamsburg. We're entreated to "run away from all the cynics" which, I suspect, would mean running away from ourselves - as Kele discovers when he tries to ask us to run, but "all I could say was hey". I'm bouncing around incoherently, I'm sorry. This is pretty much the perfect song for walking down dark alleys to. This is a song for dancefloors filled with the disillusioned. This is a song for believers and fighters.

And if the song in original form isn't enough, then Telemitry have to go and fuck it all around with more synths and lasers and make it even cooler. It becomes a leviathon of heavy beats. You can practically feel the heat radiating off it, the desperation. Telemitry are doing some seriously heavy remixes at the moment - the other being Coldplays "Viva La Vida" which takes fairly simple Brian Eno glossed strings & vocals song and turns it into something that you could use for one of those New Years Eve retrospectives. if you wanted to confuse everyone about what had happened that year. the thing i love about remixes like this is the way they give the songs a new bite, they tease out something that you knew was there but couldn't quite hear. 

So. Yeah. I hope that makes you look at Coldplay and Bloc Party, two of the UK's biggest bands, a little differently. 

I'll write about Cheltenham, Oxford & Cambridge later, promise. I'm off to Scotland on Friday, I think. 

No comments: