[7] Public Image Limited, ‘Rise’

“He could be yellow!” Junior said. “Or purple or red or pink! Or blue!”

Not much to add about John Lydon’s strange foray into drivetime rock, except that it somehow works.

Or cerise:

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[20] Bloc Party, ‘Banquet’

Bloc Party

LET’S START 2004 then.

They’ve had a tough time of it, Bloc Party. Unconfirmed reports suggest they were the first band whipped by a backlash before they’d even been hyped, and the strikes only got fiercer when Kele Okereke had the temerity to fill their second album with a few prosaic lyrics. The horror! Then Kele went and got himself beaten up – and allegedly racially abused – by John Lydon and his lackeys, and everyone felt a bit awkward. Don’t worry; the metaphorical boot will get put back in when that fourth album comes around.

Do they deserve the sneers? I put the question to Junior, who gave me a look that said she’d woken up at 6am and wasn’t ready for any query more complex than “Jam or Marmite?” It was a loquacious look. I diluted the quiz – do you like this? A nod. Good choppy guitars? A nod. Can you say “Bloc Party?” “Bloc Party.”

Sometimes that’s enough.

Urgent, spiky, yelpy – ‘Banquet’ bears a mark of promise that’s occasionally been fulfilled over three diverting albums. I think they’ve done OK.

On fire: