Shake the tree too hard and it's not only the fruit that falls from above, but the life-giving leaves and, ultimately, the very branches that comprise the core scaffolding of the entire set up. One feels that, a year after the breakthrough of Silent Alarm, the industry's more omnivorous scavengers have sided up to the source of such post-punk excellence and fought furiously for familiar success; lo, we've endured a slew of sound-alike acts looking to cash in on the fashion for clean guitars and lyrical intelligence, whatever their original honorable intentions.
'Two More Years' sees the cycle go full circle: this is the pioneers reclaiming their birthright from the pretenders that've grown strong in their absence. The song's opening seconds blindside the listener, sounding more like Mansun than any contemporary punks, but the trademark Bloc Party sound - crisply plucked guitars, urgent but unfussy drumming and Kele Okereke's read-them-how-you-wish words - settles soon enough. The format's barely changed since the band's debut, although it does feel a little warmer and compositionally considered, but nevertheless sounds as fresh as the seedlings from which the trees about us grow so tall.
The title's ominous: the carbon-copy chancers will run dry soon enough, and Bloc Party's insistence that it'll only be "two more years, so hold on" may yet prove correct. Like every mass dalliance with fashion, the acts that prize substance and soul above haircuts and hollow r'n'r gestures will prevail; 'Two More Years' is proof positive that Bloc Party are here to stay. Shame they saw fit to end such a song with a poor fade out, though.
8Mike Diver's Score