Bloc Party – Alpha Games

Buoyant melodies, witty lyrics, and playful harmonies…

It’s been six years since Bloc Party released ‘Hymns’, an album that saw them weave in aspects of electronica. New album ‘Alpha Games’ sees the renowned quartet return to their roots, with guitar-focussed songwriting, low-slung bass lines, and witty lyricism across 12 obnoxiously captivating tracks.

Bloc Party cut to the chase as they fling you into exhilarating opener ‘Day Drinker’, with its addictive vocal delivery from frontman Kele Okereke. A stomping introduction, for sure, but we can we honestly say the fun doesn’t stop there, as they jump straight into electrifying ‘Traps.’ If there’s one thing this album has taught us in just the first two tracks, it’s that we cannot wait for the group to bring it to stage.

Across ‘Alpha Games’ Bloc Party take you on a journey of some of the most pressing themes, from a hunger for success to crippling setbacks and dishonest relationships, amid a journey of self-discovery. Bloc Party cover all the above with – yes, you guessed it – buoyant melodies, annihilating solos, and snappy lyrics: in other words, Bloc Party in their truest form.

‘Alpha Games’ is a blissful journey from start to finish and endures album standouts: ‘You Should Know The Truth,’ an indie tune with a completely addictive jive. To cutting edge and lightly dusted with speckles of delicate drum and bass fourth track, ‘Callum Is A Snake.’ And the very tranquil and joyous, ‘In Situ.’ A very on-the-nose accumulation of Bloc Party’s last 23 years, ‘Alpha Games’ sees them bounce back better than before – indeed, this is their best work since ‘A Weekend In The City’.

Sown together during their 2018 and 2019 ‘Silent Alarm’ tour, it’s clear to see why this album feels so reflective of their stapled sound. Influenced by their acclaimed LP, across ‘Alpha Games’ Bloc Party have managed to produce a great project that’ll accompany them on their spring tour dates this year.  

Just a track away from the album’s mid-point is stomping predecessor ‘Rough Justice.’ An edgy track oozing in anticipation, ‘Rough Justice’ has you waiting for the band to erupt; exploding with the boastfully manic guitar and drum solo, ‘Rough Justice’ is definitely one to look forward to experiencing live. ‘Alpha Games’ is an exciting return with addictive hooks and array of infectious album stand outs.

8/10

Words: Laviea Thomas

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