British band Bloc Party goes a fourth round

Lauren Clairmont | Assistant Lifestyles Editor

After a three-year hiatus, the British indie rock band Bloc Party is back with their fourth album, fittingly named “Four.” Released this past Tuesday, the album is hovering at number 26 on iTunes.

Predominately known in young American alternative rock circles for hit songs “Banquet” and “Helicopter,” Bloc Party is anything but mainstream. In this fourth installment, the band continues to experiment with instruments, vocal manipulation and rhythmic patterns to create a sound part Radiohead, part Sonic Youth, with a bit of The Cure for good measure.

“[‘Four’ is] their most raw and intimate album yet,” said Gabrielle Nicole Pharms of Life + Times.

If you’re unconvinced Bloc Party deserves a spot on your iPod, sample these four songs to get a taste of what the band has to offer with their latest album.

3. “Octopus”: If you were wondering, the word “octopus” never appears anywhere in the lyrics. This is the one song on “Four” you might have already heard, as it was released as a single in early July. This song is most representative of Bloc Party’s first album, “Silent Alarm.”  Listen for the perfect mix of new electronic sounds and Bloc Party’s original vocal style. Also check out the awesome solo about two and a half minutes in.

10. “Truth:” One of the more popular tracks on this album, “Truth” begins with lead singer Kele Okereke crooning, “It was the truth/That fell from these lips/It blinded us/And then the darkness left/So I am yours now/Respectfully/I am yours now/Truthfully.” Though the lyrics could be written by anyone from The All-American Rejects to Taylor Swift, the unique vocals and instrumental infusion take a profession of love and transform it to a song of determination with a steady enough beat to listen to as you run around the track at the Rec Center. It’s simple and upbeat.

4. “Real Talk:” This is a really interesting track, because inspiration for the lyrics started with one of Okereke’s side projects. “I was writing a book of short stories during the recording and ‘Real Talk’ is the only song on the record that comes directly from a scene in one of the short stories,” he said.

7. “Coliseum:” Vocals reminiscent of the White Stripes, a great foot-tapping beat and country-sounding guitars morph into cymbals and an intense jam session on this track. During his interview with Life + Times, Okereke asserted the forceful nature of the track is a reflection of Bloc Party as a group.

For better or worse, “Four” has a little bit of everything-love songs and tracks you can’t resist tapping your feet to, head-banging “screamo” choruses mixed with cellos and synthesizers. It’s different for sure, but sometimes we all need something a little off the beaten path.