With its second full-length studio album, A WEEKEND IN THE CITY, Bloc Party seems undaunted in following up its highly acclaimed debut, SILENT ALARM, assuredly presenting another shimmering set of heady, well-honed British rock. While the band's calling cards--alternately angular and chiming guitar lines, frontman Kele Okereke's plaintive vocals, and drummer Matt Tong's precise rhythms--are fully on display, WEEKEND features the London-based quartet in a more muscular mode, a point easily hit home by the fierce opener, "Song for Clay (Disappear Here)," which is marked by roaring six-string riffs and an insistent beat.
Although WEEKEND is less dynamic than SILENT ALARM, like that earlier release, the record is generally frontloaded with more aggressive tracks (particularly the searing, dance-tinged tune "Hunting for Witches"), leaving the latter part of WEEKEND to showcase Bloc Party's shoegaze tendencies ("Kreuzberg") and pop inclinations ("I Still Remember"). Bloc Party often verges on U2/Coldplay-like grandeur here, but it defiantly retains an edge that those acts lack, making this a distinct album by a band of its time.
Spin (p.84) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "They're one of the few acts that can write a song about a hangover that will also sound great during a hangover."
Entertainment Weekly (p.74) - "[D]rummer Matt Tong pumps out herculean disco-rock beats that'll work any nightclub into a froth." -- Grade: B-
Q (p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The music is spiky but widescreen throughout, with electronic trimmings and even a hint of U2's epic soundscapes..."
Uncut (p.75) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Guitarist Russell Lissack enchants on 'Kreuzberg'..."
Vibe (p.122) - "With WEEKEND, Bloc Party continue to refute genre tags, finding themselves wherever they may roam."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "A WEEKEND IN THE CITY resolves largely around a cast of twentysomething hipsters, created with obvious care and attention."