BLOC PARTY play the Danforth Music Hall September 10 and 11. See listing. Rating: NNN
When Bloc Party debuted with Silent Alarm in 2005, they were one of a handful of bands cast in a Gang of Four-inspired mould: dance rock with a jagged edge, jittery rhythms that move your feet, liberally described as "angular." Many bands lived and died with the fad, but Bloc Party stuck it out by changing up their formula, alternately experimenting with electronic overtones and tender balladry.
Sidestepping persistent breakup rumours, they return to remind us that there's still one side of dance rock they haven't tried: rock. On Four, Bloc Party turn up their amps and tune down their guitars, while singer Kele Okereke, who presumably got dance out of his system with his solo album, The Boxer, embraces his inner Bruce Dickinson.
3x3 finds him alternately hissing and belting, Octopus features Thunderstruck-style fret-tapping, and Coliseum, strangely, sounds straight out of the grunge playbook. It's hard not to wish they'd just return to what made them famous in the first place.
Top track: Octopus