Do you believe the hype? - Oh My Rockness

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Do you believe the hype?

February 3, 2005
Bloc Party>/b> are a little less dandy than Franz Ferdinand, but you can still dance to them if you want. These Brits, who sound a whole lot like Wire meets Blur, are the next "next big thing." They've released a few EP's that were very well received, and have an upcoming full-length due soon on Vice (and we all know a Vice signee is good for a 8-15 month membership to Club Cool.)

What I like most about Bloc Party is that they aren't just about choppy riffs to make you wiggle (Franz, are you listening?) They've also written some extraordinary guitar parts that soar melodically over the now-genre-standard driving rhythms. It sounds similar to how the dude from Pretty Girls Make Graves plays. And god knows I'm a sucker for any player who works his way down the frets. And while they won't change the world, when Bloc Party are on they are really ON. At their best they can be inspiring. At their worst they are "fun." And that's not too bad. No one ever accused me of being "fun" at my worst.

The Go! Team's mood alone can make up for all the years of wallowing lo-fi indie rockers waxing depression. Mixing tons of samples circa 1984 (think Fraggle Rock meets Hardcastle and McCormick meets the soccer practice scene in The Karate Kid) with playful vocals and jubilantly upbeat tempos make U.K.'s The Go! Team one of the happiest bands you'll ever hear.

It's funny because the title of their debut album, Thunder Lightning Strike, sounds so ominous you sort of expect death-metal. Perhaps the title is appropriate if the thunder they speak of strikes its victims with the giggles. One would never think the prevalent "scratch" of hip-hop, soul and funk on vinyl could sound so right as it's juxtaposed with melodic harmonicas, country-time banjos, and light-station trumpets. This should never work, yet it does. The Go! Team seems to be an in-studio creation of old school beats, but they're actually a live band that plays decidedly real instruments. Their show should be a "funfest." Mope-heads beware!

Bloc Party and The Go! Team play together at the Vice/Kemado/Connect late night afterparty on Saturday, March 19th. The party is invite only -- you need a laminate to get in. Also playing are Lansing-Dreiden, Diamond Nights and Cheeseburger.


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