Bloc Party - 'Alpha Games'

7/10

Despite arriving with some of the most distinctive and engaging releases of the last few decades, the legacy of Bloc Party had become very strained in recent years. After four impressive studio albums that regularly saw the band evolve and move their sound forward, the departure of drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes prior to their fifth full-length 'Hymns' saw the group fall short of their usual flair. But after six years of figuring out their next move with their new members, they return with 'Alpha Games', record that sees them come back with a bang.

The problem that their previous release 'Hymns' had was its sheer distance from almost anything that came before as they looked to spell a new beginning for Bloc Party. But from just a few tracks in to 'Alpha Games', it is clear they are looking to revive that same chemistry from their infancy. Singles like 'Traps' and 'Callum Is A Snake' could have easily been lifted from sessions for their debut LP, while the record also makes attempts to find new and exciting areas to explore. This all comes together to create a strong and confident collection that is both progressive and inventive throughout.

The legacy of Bloc Party may have been on the rocks prior to this, but 'Alpha Games' is a short and sharp return to form. It may not be reaching the same vibrant heights of their earlier days, but still manages to pack itself with memorable moments and killer hooks to keep the fire burning within.

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