Bloc Party – Alpha Games

There's a bite and an edginess to many of the songs here.

Label: Infectious / BMG
Released: 29th April 2022

After a gap of six years, the sixth Bloc Party record arrives thanks, in part, to a renewed focus on their first. Born out of the ‘Silent Alarm’ anniversary shows, the influence of that album can be felt all through ‘Alpha Games’ – the same breathless race through guitars gears, the same ragged, urgent and surging guitar sounds that helped define the band in the first place.

Thankfully ’Alpha Games’ isn’t a repeat for nostalgia’s sake, as welcome as the return to that time may be for long-term Bloc Party fans. There is a bite and an edginess to many of the songs here, moments like ‘Callum Is A Snake’ and ‘Rough Justice’ taking no prisoners as they carry the weight of years of having to watch out for chancers and charlatans. The latter pulses and rushes to its climax like a band reborn as they hurtle through the gears. Meanwhile, ’You Should Know The Truth’ and the gorgeous ‘If We Get Caught’ show that softer side that brought a lush pause amongst the chaos.

‘Alpha Games’ might not do anything ‘new’, but then that in its own way is a new development for Bloc Party – this is a band that always shifted shape and form even at their commercial heights. In this current wave of early 00’s nostalgia, a return to their earlier days stylistically might feel like a retreat. The angst and anxiety that has come with those two decades lends it a deliciously spicy edge that saves it from being too much of a safe path mercifully.

3.0 rating
Total Score

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