Bloc Party and The Ponys play Bowery. 1 out of every 3 people will be slightly-balding - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
March 31, 2005
Perhaps I lose coolness points, assuming I had any to begin with, if I'm totally in love with a band that is currently the most hyped indie group on the planet (and apparently, so is Elijah "don't call me Hobbit" Wood, since he was seen bopping along to the Bloc at the Vice party at SXSW). But I don't care, because I'm pretty much through being cool. It's really overrated. Bloc Party is dreads and shoulders above all those other new "it-Brit" bands. They're better than The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, and Kaiser "right place, right time" Chiefs. Way better. They're better because they are stronger. Stronger songwriters. Stronger musicians. Stronger vocalist. Listen to Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and then listen to Bloc Party's "Banquet." Both were hit songs that make you dance. But which is more interesting? Well there's just no contest...

I've always had a soft spot in my rock 'n' roll heart for those pretty guitar lines that float above aggressively complex chords (think Pretty Girls Make Graves or, going back a few, Cap'n Jazz). This is the melody that keeps me coming back for more. And this is the melody that is so lacking in all those other bands mentioned. It's like, "sure, it's ok to make me want to dance, but you should also make me want to put your album on repeat."

Bloc Party play those pretty guitar notes oh so well (largely thanks to guitarist Russell Lissack). Combine the guitar melody with singer Kele Okereke's versatile voice and you have a band whose every song could be a hit. I guess it's not the fault of those other Brit bands that they don't play the guitar like I want them to. It's just one of my many emo-tional problems. But one thing I'm sure of. In the past two weeks I've listened to Bloc Party's recent album, Silent Alarm, dozens and dozens of times. And that's all it comes down to, right?

Playing with Bloc Party are The Ponys. We like them a whole lot, too. The Ponys are from Chicago, but they sound nothing like what you may imagine the Chicago sound to be. This isn't avant-post-gastr-boring whatever. This is Richard Hell doing the nasty with a dirtier, tougher, better Stellastarr*. The resulting sound is hot rock love. Borrowing heavily from Hell's yelping vocals and, less heavily, from Stellastarr*'s swirling riffs, The Ponys are making some mighty fine, danceable, grime rock.

Bloc Party and The Ponys play Bowery Ballroom with Chromeo, Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th.


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