Bloc Party's Comeback Single 'Octopus' Reviewed

After a couple of years on hiatus, Bloc Party have returned with a new single. But does it match up to their early, high-velocity indie hits?
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After a couple of years on hiatus, Bloc Party have returned with a new single. But does it match up to their early, high-velocity indie hits?

Kele Okereke and his merry men made their musical return last night from their self-inflicted three year sabbatical to give us the first musical taster of what we can expect from their aptly titled fourth album... Four.

The whole band have been busy over the last couple of years doing their own respective thang. Be it having kids, playing with Ash or releasing dodgy solo albums, Bloc Party had a well deserved break from each other. The first inkling we got that a regroup was afoot was when a story that appeared in NME last year, which stated that the band were auditioning new singers to replace Okereke. However, it quickly became apparent that it was just a fabrication devised by the band and their PR company to whip up a frenzy and get their names back on the lips of the nation. Bloc Party were quick to criticise NME for printing and believing whatever they were told. But isnʼt that what happens when a journalist interviews a band? Maybe they have been out of the game so long that they have forgotten what an interview is. Who knows.

Last night Zane Lowe gave the leading single Octopus itʼs first spin in his usual excited, frothing at the mouth fashion. Instantly I was pleasantly surprised that the song was veering more towards the jolty indie of Silent Alarm as opposed to the drab faux electronica of their latter efforts.

...on paper it has all the elements of a good Bloc Party guitar track, (snappy lead hooks, sparse yet rhythmic bass, schitzy drums)

About a minute in however, post first chorus, I canʼt say it was doing much for me. Even though on paper it has all the elements of a good Bloc Party guitar track, (snappy lead hooks, sparse yet rhythmic bass, schitzy drums) I doubt that Octopus would have even made it as a B-side in 2005 when Silent Alarm was commanding the indie disco dance floors. There seems to be an element of laziness and lack of energy behind the track. The highs aren’t high enough and the lows arenʼt low enough. The middle eight just cuts to a classic Russell Lissack twiddly guitar bit which leads to, yes youʼve guessed it, the final chorus.

Iʼm not saying that this song is awful, far from it. But after three years, I think that we all were expecting a bit better. Who knows though, it might be a grower, it took me about a week to get my head around A Weekend In The City. Nonetheless, in terms of instantaneousness, it doesnʼt quite hit the mark.

Iʼm glad to see the guys going back to the standard four piece indie band sound

On the plus side Iʼm glad to see the guys going back to the standard four piece indie band sound, it gives me a glimmer of hope that the album will carry more weight and depth then its opening single.

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