Meet Bloc Party (and no, it's not a get together of French Canadian separatists).
Silent Alarm is one of the best new albums this year, and a "must own" for anyone truly interested in vibrant, challenging alternative rock.
Like a number of bands these days (The Killers, Franz Ferdinand), they take the best of the 1980s New Wave / punk movement, and update it with a 21st century sensibility.
If I had to pick a band to compare them to... well, I used to hate it when people would try to pigeon-hole my old bands like that (unless, of course, we were being compared to either the Beatles or the Smiths, in which case it was fine), so I won't. But, should you happen to be a fan of The Clash, the Cure, the Icicle Works, or even The Fixx, from those halcyon days of yore (i.e. the 1980s), you're probably going to like Bloc Party (or, for Canadians, think a bit of Blue Peter's classic "Don't Walk Past").
Or, as Rolling Stone said in it's 4 star review:
"One of punk rock's greatest joys is when group members interlock to the point of becoming a visceral, vibrating dance machine. London's Bloc Party achieve this manic bliss on nearly every track of their superb long-playing debut. Drummer Matt Tong provides enough speedy syncopation for several bands, guitarists Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack lend nervous string interaction, and bassist Gordon Moakes adds suspenseful, propulsive shifts. Pointed pop tunes yelp and cry and tug at your heart even as the band's rhythmic friction spews sparks at your feet. Singer Okereke is black and Tong is of Asian descent, and together with their pale mates they distill twenty-five years of spiky British rock, from the Cure to Blur to hot Scots Franz Ferdinand. Silent Alarm is dance rock, but highly caffeinated."
But don't think that Bloc Party is some nostalgia act. Like Franz Ferdinand and The Killers, there may be echoes of another era in their music, but they have a unique, 100% contemporary sound. Check out their website at www.blocparty.com.
Take my word for it - you need to give these guys a listen, if you haven't already. And, if you live in Europe, they have just been nominated for Best Alternative Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards which take place in Lisbon on November 3rd. You can vote for them to win using this link: http://ema.mtv.co.uk/
Now, back to UFOs, or whatever it is that I do around here.