[Finally, Gothamist will be reviewing cd's. On a weekly basis this column, entitled Hard To Explain, will give you insight into one bands music - one cd at a time. Authored by G. Nylund with original photography (specifically shot with each band/cd in mind) by Raphael Rodriguez.]

Bloc Party can't be from the UK. They just can't. This is the country that invented the pub crawl, a place where they wean you straight from breast milk to beer. No. I refuse to believe a band from the UK could make an album this premeditated. British people drink too much to be this well thought out. Bloc Party must be German. I'm convinced. Just look at the name Bloc Party. Germans are ruthlessly efficient. They never have anything superfluous. Have you seen how much they love the letter K? SauerKraut. Kraftwerk, Der Kommisar. Those K's have to be coming from somewhere.

It's as if a team of scientists deep in the forests of Bavaria heard Interpol and winced when they heard Paul sing the line, your stories are boring and stuff, saw the success of other post-punk bands and thought, We can do this better.

Every guitar line and bridge is meticulously written. Every subtle echo, vocal inflection, or bass line is spot on. The band has crafted an album out of the best aspects of every post-punk/80's throwback band. Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, the Killers - none could make an album this flawless. There are no lines to poke fun at, no songs that drag on too long, and not a single sound that doesn't belong. Every guitar strum rings out just right. The drums crack with perfectly pummeled energy. Chords slice through the melody like their path was carved with a laser.

Silent Alarm opens with "Like Eating Glass," an all out onslaught of drums and locked in bass rhythms, splintered by jagged guitars, and overlaid with subtle synths. It's the sound of Gang of Four with a new Porsche engine kicking it into high gear on the autobahn.

A softer sound shows up first with "Blue Light" and later is perfected by "This Modern Love". The drums and bass back off and let the vocals and guitar reverberate throughout the song. Perfect oohs and ahs harmonize delicately in the background.

Many people will enjoy this album, and rightfully so. Very few bands with such an underground sound have ever sounded this tight. Its not as if it sounds too stern. The melodies are there. There is something just too calculated about the whole affair.

I don't find myself wanting to weep during the ballads and the words of their political rants never really sink in. Everything seems a little too formulaic to be truly felt. I find myself yearning for just one desperate off-key yelp, just one thing to show me that this is from the same country that blessed me with the heartfelt emotions of the Smiths.

2005_03_artbcsilentalarm.jpgBloc Party's Silent Alarm will be released on March 22nd and can be purchased here.
The band will be playing two shows at Bowery Ballroom April 7th and 8th. The shows are sold out but keep an eye on Ticketweb, it's likely they'll be moved to Webster Hall - in which case more tickets will go on sale.

To submit a cd for review please email: nylund154@hotmail.com