Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City

Bloc Party have this ability to make you get genuinely excited about their music. But I was disappointed by some more incredibly lazy and uninteresting artwork not unlike that of Silent Alarm . In this case it resembles very much the cover of the Supergrass -Road to Rouen album. While the artwork hasn't improved, their music clearly has. They have changed their style and are experimenting more with electronic sounds and compositions. Which create a real wholeness and a continuity about the album. With more focus on the guitars than before they have given some of their songs a real epic quality. They have also upped the quality of songwriting with Okereke declaring that "In every headline we are reminded that this is not home for us" In the political Where Is Home? This step towards varying their songwriting has made them less of the lightweight indie band that they were before.

The second track Hunting For Witches is one of my favourites from the album with the opening section of voices and sounds collaged together to produce something quite stunning. Their are occasional lapses where they return to some of the mundane, slow songs of their debut which don't sit right. But with songs like The Prayer (The first single) and Song For Clay (Disappear Here) they are really pushing on and have made something which is political and in places quite a tough listen but if you have patience then you will enjoy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Little Barrie - Stand Your Ground

Their debut effort We Are Little Barrie was a fine album but it seemed to be more of a stepping stone to better things. So with great interest I bought Stand Your Ground. What can be said about them is they have a huge amount of technical ability. They have a new drummer in Billy Skinner but they retain much of the same sound if verging more towards straight rock and roll. Their songwriting and confidence has definitely grown and this is a much more complete affair than their debut.

Why Don't You Do It features Barry Cadogans eloquent guitar playing with prowess not seen properly since Jimmy Page or Clapton. On the single Pay To Join you can notice the real change. They are clearly aiming for more commercial success however you don't seem to lose anything from the overall Little Barrie package. They are much wiser than they once were and I will be intrigued to see what they will produce next