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It would be easy to write off the Bloc Party as a jumped up, cocky, copycat band similar to the likes of Franz Ferdinand. They say their influences are Sonic Youth, the Cure, Joy Division, the Pixies and DJ Shadow.

Well, that's what they put into the "bass player wanted" ad in the NME. But, come on lads, were you embarrassed to mention Blur? You shouldn't be. It's uncanny how singer Kele Okereke recalls that posh geezer tones of Blur's Damon Albarn.

The band's EP from last year had some excellent tunes such as Banquet and She's Hearing Voices (which both appear here) but was a little flaky because of empty sounding and careless songs such as the Marshalls Are Dead.

On Silent Alarm they have some melt-in-your-mouth moments such as the nearly - we kid you not - Spandau Ballet-like chorus of This Modern Love.

Then they have some down-right annoying moments, for instance Okereke's uptight vocals that sound as though he needs to take a breath. (Does he take one during The Pioneers?) But rest assured, you do get used to him, and their tense take on music is what makes them so potent.

Drummer Matt Tong is a little beaver, constantly building the songs and doing drum-fills between it all. He needs to take a breath too, but doesn't.

That's the thing about Bloc Party, they know where to take their songs. When they go somewhere - such as on the abrasive guitar that breaks up the gorgeous slab of She's Hearing Voices - they go all the way, and there's no diddling around to an ineffectual end on any of these 13 tracks.

So Here We Are is lovely and crisp in the beginning and then it whips you into a rousing post-punk trance.

Next track, Luno, is Joy Division meets the Shadows. It's a hyped up number, with a mosh pit moving drum nut-off that combines with Okereke's recurring line of, "And your nose is bleeding, you've been lying to me", that shows this is a band who, while they have their influences, don't need to be compared to anyone.

Great, gritty, tunes with the added value of being nothing but fun in the most intense possible way.

Label: V2