They’re back. After the hiatus, the side-projects and the tantalising trailer they posted last month, Bloc Party (twitter/facebook) officially made their return last night. The first single from their fourth album, announced as the rather literally-minded Four last month, will be familiar to those who have been keeping up, but the studio version of Octopus (out August 13th) appeared online after its Radio 1 premiere (with added video, of course; the clip is below), and it sounds like a return to the band’s guitar-centric roots.
The stuttering riff that the song is anchored around is vintage Bloc Party, and other signs are there as well: Matt Tong’s drumming is powerful, Kele Okereke’s voice is in fine fettle, moving from a sultry falsetto to an energetic yelp at different points, and the chorus is massive. Remember how The Prayer and Mercury were radically different and split opinion right down the middle? Well, Octopus isn’t like that; like its (relatively) straightforward video suggests (epilepsy sufferers, please steer clear), it’s pretty clearly four guys in a room, doing what they do best. Some fans have been clamouring for something like that for five years, so no doubt it’ll appease them, but the song mixes old and new to offer us another glimpse at the band’s future: it’s looking bright.