[110] Bloque – Bloque

15 May

I am ready to recommend this recording halfway through the first mesmerizing track.


Starting slowly with a trance-like club intro, gradually the cymbals and guitar begin some psychedelic noodling before the snare drums kick in and the guitar lays down a concrete groove.  We’re on our way, and I’m already fully on board.

But immediately all is not straightforward.  The time signature has a slight hitch, forcing the rhythm into strange shapes, keeping the whole thing driving forward with far more urgency than the otherwise moderate tempo might suggest.

By this time keyboards and vocals have been added to the mix and, simply put, it’s a party.

Throughout this first song – “Undecimo Poder” – and indeed throughout the entire album, heavily distorted guitar fills and solos peek through the veneer of . . . whatever it is that happens to be going on at the time.  The styles being jumbled together here are so varied, so wandering and interesting, but it is this 90s guitar rock aesthetic that ties the package into a coherent whole.

Sometimes it is party rock in the vein of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, sometimes introspective mood pieces a la Pink Floyd, and all interspersed with occasional mad Frank Zappa-esque flourishes.  Bloque is certainly never boring.  The band plays with rhythm and emotion in tightly performed and highly polished musical soundscapes, each song wandering far beyond the scope of a typical rock single without ever threatening to outstay its welcome.

There are moments that bring to mind The Doors, others that reflect a Beatles influence – in fact every few minutes offers up another peek at what the players listened to as kids – but the consistent guitar sound as well as the deliberate emphasis on creating intricate rhythms ensure that Bloque has a recognizable style all their own.

This would have fit right in with the bulk of what I was listening to when it was released in 1998, owing as it does so much to the best Rock from the preceding decades.

Do I even need to say it at this point?

I love this, and would never have encountered it if not for finding Tom Moon’s book in a charity book fair.

Next Week: Fiddler On The Roof – Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick

Owned before blogging? No. (10 of 110 = 9%)
Heard before blogging? No. (16 of 110 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (91 of 110 = 83%)

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