Friday, December 08, 2006

Disappear here...

There was (unspecified) time where I was at the lowest point in my life. Couldn't possibly get lower. During this time I was spending most of my time lying around reading and doing little else. While having thoughts of giving up on everything swirled through my head I called my dad and asked him to bring me some books. He brought me a stack of stuff by Brett Easton Ellis and I began completely immersing myself in them in an attempt to get my head away from where it had been lingering. During this time I read "Less Than Zero". Twice. In one day. Which is not exactly the smartest thing ever when you are trying to get your head away from complete and utter despair... however it is one of the greatest books I have ever read.

Apparently Kele from Bloc Party thinks so as well. The coked out, indifferent, opulent nature of the book has so obviously been reflected in the world around us in recent years. And after admitting (through very thinly veiled statements; i.e. he didn't say which drug he was taking) his drug use and new found love for dancing all night in clubs after the tour for 'Silent Alarm', it's safe to say he woke up one morning and saw the same retched qualities in himself that he hated about society. That's where A Weekend In The City was born.

The week of November 10th Bloc Party were forced to cancel their tour with P!@TD (thank god) because Matt Tong (their drummer) suffered a collapsed lung. As if that weren't enough, shortly after, their new album leaked WAYYYYYY ahead of time. A Weekend In The City is supposed to come out until February 2007. One has to imagine without Matt Tong's 400 Vicodin pills he got for his lung operation Bloc Party would collectively be jumping off a bridge right now... and perhaps metaphorically they are. Maybe in 2008 or 2009 (Jesus, are we almost a decade away from Y2K?) we will see the 3rd album from Whitechapel's art-rock heroes that is riddled in the other hard narcotic laced with wistful melodies and more hurt than their prior. But in the meantime we have this album to deal with.

I have struggled a LOT with this... do I post anything off the leaked album? How would I feel if someone did that to me? But isn't everyone else doing it? I mean in February it's going to be a moot point... everything will have already been said. The release of A Weekend In The City will be a true 'non-event'. However, I encourage you to buy it because they need your support. This could be a career crippling moment for them and they don't deserve that!

So in the end, I'm not going to post anything FROM the album... but I will post a demo and some live tracks from songs that are on the album. And I will give you a little review of this 'A Side' of this album... I will follow with the 'B Side' in a couple days when I feel more well acquainted with it...

Let's get started at the 'quick glance' review...

1) Bloc Party- "Song For Clay/Disappear Here(Demo Version)" zShare
This song is written (apparently) for the lead character in Less Than Zero. It talks about enjoying yourself at the expense of others and really let's you know that this album is wayyyy different from the last one. The super high falsetto is thin and frail, which would weaken the track if it weren't for the propulsive chorus that takes this song into the stars. By the time he's singing the book's maxim "People are afraid to merge on the freeway" this song is rocking out showing it's a really strong album opener.

2) Hunting For Witches
It starts out super glitchy and chopped up like 'Coat Check' by Soft Pink Truth, and then we get live drums that sound like a old school drum and bass loop... and then... WHOA... is this 'Crazy Train'? Because that's what the guitar sounds like (for those of you who magically aren't versed in that guitar lick, it's the one Lil John and Trick Daddy stole for 'Let's Go'... some of you just groaned because I wrote that, but remember, the whole world isn't full of music afficianados)! But as the song starts to warm up it's apparent they aren't trying to bite any one's style. This song is about as anthematic as a song that isn't a single can be (having said that it would not blow me away if this did end up being a single in the U.K... there is probably only one U.S. single and that will be #4). It's basically about nationalistic additudes towards immigrants and "terrorists".

3)Bloc Party- "Waiting For The 7.18 (Live @ Bedford)" zShare
Bloc Party- "Waiting For The 7.18 (live @ Coachella) YSI
Nice and pretty like a Christmas version of 'So Here We Are' at the beginning. We get more drum-and-bass drums from Matt Tong (that couldn't be more different than the last album) and it suddenly bursts into the chorus. It's a wall of guitars and rhythm which is a good contrast to the xylophone and other sprightly sounds in the verses. The last bit "Let's drive to Brighton on the weekend" sounds so fucking impassioned it's as though it's the request of a dying man in love. Funny bit with the birds at the end because this is without question a 'winter' track, but what the hell why not, it works anyway. As soon as I got up this morning I threw this on the stereo... that's how good it is.

4) The Prayer
The obvious lead single that also seems to obviously be about cocaine. "Let me outshine the moon..." isn't a request that most of us make when we plan to go out on a Friday night. I think most people are like "let this fucking zit go away", not "let me be a god"! The chorus which goes: "Tonight, make me unstoppable/ I will chop, I will slice/ I will dazzle them with my wit...", is easily the most engaging thing Bloc Party have ever done (unless you hate pop music in which case 'Helicopter' was the best they've ever done). It is a song that undoubtedly will be played in front of many bathroom mirrors, and in many car stereos in the way to the bar, from now until the end of forever. So fucking ace I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO IT! Seriously... about 5,000 spins and counting... this is the one we played on the radioshow the other night...

5)Bloc Party- "Uniform (live @ Coachella)" YSI

The lyrics are this one are like the modern indie version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'... JUST THE LYRICS PEOPLE! It's all about the internet keeping us together, MTV teaching you how to sulk and grow your hair long... (and says "We're so handsome... entertain us" which is why I draw the Nirvana comparison). The second half of the song is like an old Bloc Party song to a degree... however the new vocal harmonies, and the heavy metal/mid-90's guitars that weren't on Silent Alarm are here (the cock rock guitar solo right before the end is sweet!). Lyrics like "I could have been a hero" I've gotten so good at lying to myself, all my pain and honour is used up" and "I'm a believer I just need a cause" make this song. It's a damn fine one.

6) On
"You make my tongue loose" totally turns this into the makeout song on the A Side. It's a very earnest and heartfelt song that would go well (and probably WILL go well) in a scene from 'The O.C.' The strings and ambient noise underneath give this the dizzying romanticism it needs to be memorable It actually reminds me of the drumbeat from a David Grey song mixed with a British Smashing Pumpkins song... anyone else hear that?

Well anyway, I'll be back soon with a review of the B Side (the last 5 tracks on this album)! If I can stop listening to the A Side!

Speaking of b-sides here's my favourite one they've done... fucking brilliant...
Bloc Party- "Always New Depths"


Crash Calloway said...

Spot on with Always New Depths, a completely fantastic song. I've read a lot of apathy about the new songs but I've really been enjoying them - thank you for the post.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review and info on AWITC. I loved the book less than zero and song for clay is great. The movie which was terrible in comparison to the book begins with the Bangles song hazy shade of winter which has the same tempo and similiar sound as song for clay. The songs both start out slow and when the drums come in they are almost the same.

Patch said...

Thanks for the comments guys... I agree the 'Less Than Zero' movie is kind of crap... but boy do I love the book. I actually have the soundtrack from 'Less Than Zero' on vinyl... picked it up a couple months ago but haven't opened it... did you know that Slayer covered 'In A Gaddadivida' for it? How bizzarre yeah? Interesting though about that Bangles song though Max...

Pete2ndBest said...

This is a great blog! Keep the Arcadian dream alive!