Silent Alarm

Bloc Party

Silent Alarm, the debut release by England’s Bloc Party, is as sweet and instantly gratifying as the taste of candy. This immediate accessibility is the album’s greatest strength and ultimately its limitation. Silent Alarm might easily fade from the public memory once 2005’s Top-10 lists have committed it to history. If nothing else, the release heralds a band whose passionate, intelligent guitar-driven dance pop outshines that of Hot Hot Heat and Franz Ferdinand while promising much for the future. Incredibly, Bloc Party’s best songs are frantic singles (“The Pulp Song”, “The Answer”) that were left off the full-length in favor of more dance-oriented fare. The album’s highlights, “This Modern Love” and “Like Eating Glass,” use guitar to express a broad continuum of emotion. Both songs lean more toward anxious hope and a frantic idealism and resonate a rare melancholy generally absent from most pop rock. Bloc Party’s genius is that it is able to toe the line expertly between dance and rock. Silent Alarm is a very good album, but it’s a safe bet that Bloc Party’s best is yet to come.