Single review: Bloc Party – Octopus

Words: Adam Kay

Out now

Ah, Bloc Party. How we’ve missed them. The London art-rockers have been on a three-year hiatus, almost splitting up in the process as members pursued their own interests. Floppy-fringed guitarist Russell Lissack joined Ash for a short time, while bassist Gordon Moakes formed the post-hardcore outfit Young Legionnaire. Singer Kele Okereke had it even better – he released The Boxer, an electro-house album featuring club-ready bangers like Tenderoni, and was recently voted the sexiest man in indie. Now, the foursome (including drummer Matt Tong) are back. And what a return it is.

Octopus is Bloc Party’s first release since their synth-heavy third album Intimacy and standalone single One More Chance in 2009. Fans of the band’s earlier output will be pleased to learn that it’s a largely guitar-based affair, while still retaining their playfully experimental edge. Lissack stabs out some staccato chords, Moakes chirps in with a “woo-ooh” backing vocal and Okereke switches between a cheeky falsetto and what sounds almost like a rap – at one point, he exclaims “You done lost yo’ mind!” But don’t let the Americanisms fool you. This is vintage Bloc Party, as catchy as the Ebola virus and, as the band’s smiles in the above video attest, twice as fun.

As a teaser for the band’s upcoming fourth album (to be titled – mais oui!Four), Octopus is positively tantalising. Welcome back, boys – it’s like you never went away.

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