Let's face it, our tastes in music growing up was straight garbage. I really can't put into words how regrettable and cringeworthy my third-wave emo phase was, but I'm just glad I never went as far as straightening my hair and bleaching streaks into it or something. I did however, listen to a lot of bad music, almost all of which I no longer listen to today. However, curiously enough, around that same time I did start listening to a band which would go on to shape my taste in music in ways which last to this day, and which I still jam to.
have announced that in honor of the album's 13th anniversary, they're playing Silent Alarm
in its entirety on tour later this year. And while plenty of naysayers say it won't be the same without the original lineup, it's still an event well looking forward to. So in preparation of the tour and the album's anniversary, I ranked all the songs on the album, from "still pretty good" to best. After you're done reading, why not pop by and check out the show we were at with them here
14. "Blue Light"
Not to be confused with the *also great* song by R&B virtuoso Kelela. Slower throughout most of the song than the rest of the album's tracks, it's a good place to start with when listening to Bloc Party or Silent Alarm
. You can also definitely hear its twinkly guitar work in most modern "emo-revival" bands these days.
13. "So Here We Are"
In such a bombastic, high-energy album, it's important to have some interludes to break things up, and while not a dedicated interlude, "So Here We Are" made sure the pace of the album didn't run away completely.
12. "Positive Tension"
The intro was always tough for me to get through, but once you make it past it you're rewarded with crashing and cathartic waves of riffage.
11. "She's Hearing Voices"
I just love the way the garage-y drums kick in during the intro, with a guitar lick reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Maps".
10. "The Price of Gasoline"
A bit all over the place, it's a frenzied, more "experimental" track for lack of a better term, but I really loved the synth work on it, and would have appreciated seeing some more synth/electronics like it throughout the rest of the album.
9. "Like Eating Glass"
A solid opener, it also is the most distinct song on the album in that it doesn't quite blend with most of the other tracks.
I used to get serious Interpol vibes listening to this track, so much so that'd I'd make sure to stick it in the middle of any Interpol playlist I made, just to change things up a bit and to create the ultimate mid-aughts indie playlist.
When people hail Silent Alarm
for being indie with a biting edge, they're talking about this track. With cutting, math-rock-inspired instrumentals and frantic vocals this track is all killer no filler.
Album closers are either a bore or stand-out tracks that don't really meld with the rest of the album, so this does a nice job of splitting right in between the two of those. It's much more subdued, which is actually a nice way to end an album noted for its high pace and intensity.
5. "The Pioneers"
The instrumentation is simply superb, just the rest of the album, but Okereke's vocals just feel so much more raw and frenetic on this track.
4. "Little Thoughts"
Technically speaking, it was only present on the remixed version of Silent Alarm
which was released later in the year, but damn if the re-release wasn't worth it just for the one song.
3. "This Modern Love"
I was definitely way too young to really appreciate the musings on love and relationships in this song when I first heard it, but its jangly indie-with-a-touch-of-emo riffs really put me in my feels.
Now that we're down to the last two, you probably could have guessed it would have been a toss up between "Helicopter" and "Banquet" for the top spot. But just because this track took second place doesn't diminish its worth at all, Bloc Party packed more into one track here than most bands do in their entire careers.
The very first Bloc Party track I ever listened to, and the one that sealed my love for the band and Silent Alarm
. Instantly catchy, with a hook akin to a spiritual experience.
Watch Bloc Party at The Baeble Bounce House: