After sustaining a few trials, tribulations and tantrums, Bloc Party has managed to reassess what’s important in making punk disco and have vengefully risen from the indie landfill that claimed more than a few of their pastiche contemporaries. Their latest album Four, the band’s first full-length since 2008′s acclaimed Intimacy, has forgone the usual niceties associated with past dance floor friendly releases and side projects and opted for an epic, twisted fairy tale sound that unapologetically blasts you out of your comfort zone. After spending a year abroad in NYC, among the cramped recesses of his own introspective, frontman Kele hooked up again with band mates Russell, Gordon, and Matt and got the boys back to their shambolic rock roots, fertilized with plenty of ardor and affection, as presented on epic tearjerker tracks “Real Talk” and “Truth.” This collection of seemingly fragmented thoughts, produced by Alex Newport (The Mars Volta and Polysics), is cohesive in its personal revelations – emotions are still raw, but what is at times awkwardly clear aurally is that this is BP’s love/hate opus. Kele confesses, “In the past, we have tried to hide the passion with which we perform, tried to obscure it, manipulate it so it doesn’t resemble us anymore.” This is decidedly no longer the case. With tons of screeching guitars in the foreground, and scorching maleficent vocals that tear your soul apart, Bloc Party is finally telling their story that rips at your heart strings and leaves you gushingly raw, searching to find your own splint for proper immobilization. I sat down with Kele to discuss the journey of the four guys, their fourth album, and what happens on day four.
Is this your return to rock?
KELE OKEREKE It’s definitely more of a rock record than our previous records. It’s a sort of rock and roll that we haven’t played in a really long time. It’s really heavy. It doesn’t feel like the past. It feels like a new direction. We’ve always been a rock band. What is a rock band in the 21st century if it’s not aware of the music that’s going on around it? It’s about paying homage to the music that’s been around us.
Is it a ‘love is pain’ opus?
KO I’ve got no idea what this record is about! There’s no overview. When I started writing the music, I just wrote about the first things on my mind. Would I say it’s about love? I don’t know. Love is important to me. It’s something I will always write about. The redemptive power of love is something that is pretty important to me and always will be.
Check out the entire interview at VMAN.