Eyesight. Lleyton Hewitt. Bloc Party. Some things don’t get better with age. The quality of Bloc Party releases has decreased in a palpable linear fashion over the years. As a result, along with a four-year hiatus and a new line-up, it was with trepidation that I approached their fifth album Hymns.
The good news is that Hymns is, at least, better than Bloc Party's last effort (2012's Four). The bad news is that this doesn’t exactly mean it’s a particularly good one. For the most part, it’s furiously mediocre. Hymns walks the line between sincerity and cliché perilously close, and oversteps into the latter too often.
The disco-infused opener “The Love Within” is eye-rollingly banal, which sadly sets the scene for the majority of the album. The 11 tracks pass by with very little to grab your attention. While they have never been standout lyricists, some lines, like “If there was a leaf we could smoke to meet each other, would you blaze with me?” from “Different Drugs”, are just terribly laughable. Often, it comes across as a knock-off of Blur, Radiohead, or even the latest TV On the Radio album Seeds (which, coincidentally, is also arguably their worst), without any of the flair or originality of said acts. There are some enjoyable moments (“So Real”, a crooning break-up lament, is a solid track, though not spectacular), but they don’t lift the album's cloud of mundanity.
As it appears, Hymns is another disappointing, middle-of-the-road album from a band that’s seemingly out of ideas. It would perhaps be less damning for Bloc Party’s career if it was totally dreadful rather than pastiche and forgettable; at least then we would remember it.
Despite all the wild excitement, the trio appeared the perfect combination of vibrant, as well as calm and collected. The boys had done this countless times before, but this didn’t detract from their ability to send tremors and impart some sweet magnetic energy.
Wednesday July 19 saw a night full of blistering rock and roll, with Canadian duo Japandroids bringing their Near to the Wild Heart of Life tour to the Rosemount Hotel. FOAM were in support.
If you're looking for something different to do this Winter, you could do far worse than check out an intriguing drama piece known as Blink that will see its WA debut this month. We were privileged enough to have a quick chat with creative director Melissa Cantwell.
Stephen Bailey (of Mt. Mountain)'s debut album Silo is a masterclass on patient mood building. The arrangements are subtle, the production is dense and drenched in reverb, and the performances are of stellar quality.
Ahead of their Splendour sideshows with Two Door Cinema Club, and an impending third studio album, we had a chat to Sean Caskey from Last Dinosaurs about how maturity is affecting their music, making fine wooden furniture and what music they have and do draw inspiration from.
In Part 2 of our Revelation Film Festival roundup, we review documentaries "Working In Protest" and "You've Never Had It: An Evening with Charles Buckowski"
Cult director Sofia Coppola makes her return after the mediocre Bling Ring with a re-imagining of the 1971 classic, The Beguiled.
But is it any good? (Spoiler: it's pretty damn good)
Snap reviews from the Revelation Film Festival
Just as you’d expect, Touché Amoré’s set was an energised and formidable display of expert musicianship, with a palpable bond between the audience and performers.
We caught up with the lovely Meg Mac on a sunny winter's day in Perth to chat about baby albums, naming guitars, where we (legally) watch TV and, burgers.