Bloc Party
A Weekend In The City
Vice
*** (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Of all the retro-dance/punk bands of the last couple years (Radio 4, The Rapture, Hot Hot Heat, etc.), London’s Bloc Party is perhaps the only one to emerge with a semblance of soul and worthwhile careerist ambitions. From Day One, they seemed genuinely honest and, despite the retro nameplate, likely to have creative staying power. Even if you grew tired of seeing the band hyped in the pages of Vice, manifestly 2005′s Silent Alarm was a good album.

Their sophomore album is called A Weekend In The City and is apparently rooted in exploring “the living noise of a metropolis. Fair enough. The production is crazy clear and smooth (a.k.a. neutered), and the first song sounds like some sketchy Evanescence bullsh-t, but otherwise it’s pretty aces. Not quite as bulletproof as Silent Alarm, but you can hear the fellas are reaching with intelligence and enthusiasm—and that is a rare thing indeed.—Arlie Carstens