UK rockers Bloc Party seeking U.S. breakthrough

By | January 7, 2007 at 4:53 PM

After winning over U.S. hipsters with its critically acclaimed 2005
debut “Silent Alarm,” U.K. rock act Bloc Party is now aiming for
mainstream success.
The group’s second outing, “A Weekend in the City,” comes out
February 6 via Atlantic Records, preceded by two radio singles, “The
Prayer” and “I Still Remember.”
The group toned down the frenetic feel of its debut, which
sold almost one million copies worldwide and drew comparisons to the
jerky post-punk of Gang of Four and late-period Blur.
“A Weekend in the City,” particularly on its back half, is
dominated by slower, richly textured songs that stretch into pop/rock
“It’s got everything that makes a Coldplay song, plus more,”
bassist Gordon Moakes says of the band’s more introspective material.
“It has a lush sound without being too syrupy.”

It also features much more direct vocals from frontman Kele
Okereke, who makes a big leap as a songwriter and lyricist on this loose song cycle that thematically mirrors its title.

“I wanted to make something that could be more easily understood, without dumbing it down,” Okereke says.
The lineup is rounded out by guitarist Russell Lissack and
drummer Matt Tong, who is recovering from a collapsed lung that forced
the group to give up its plum opening slot on a tour with Panic! at the
Disco last November.

With little radio support, “Silent Alarm” sold more than
280,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen
SoundScan. Over 18 months, the band went from playing small clubs to 6,000-plus-seat amphitheaters.
Tong has been cleared to resume playing when Bloc Party starts
U.K. promotional performances in January. The band will return to the
United States for a headlining tour in March and will swing through
America three more times by the end of 2007.

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