With a three-year hiatus, a feud with Oasis, and a striking entry into the British and American scenes under their belt, Bloc Party returns on Four to share their patented brand of punk and blues-infused Brit-rock. The team brings drug habits, love, sex, and violence to the table as usual, but the widespread genres approached and the range of styles make the formula as appealing as ever. Rich in deep interplay, aural sophistication, and brutal fuzz, Four is a welcome return to Bloc Party’s core. Here are the Top 10 lines chosen from Four by StereoIQGavin Matthews

Hit “next” or click the pictures to read on…

10. “I’m making you a promise/That this is forever and ever” – Bloc Party, “3×3” Lyrics

One of the hardest promises to make is one of long-term, permanent commitment. Rather than something that can be dropped or ignored, the effort requires deep connection, the risk of hurt, and a certain awareness. The themes of “3×3,” a dark mix of love torn pain and obvious signs of more unusual relationship structures and behaviors, work perfectly with the promise of the line. Seemingly more of a threat than a suggestion, the singer is bound in flesh and desire to the other(s), planning to sty at all costs.

9. “It grows and grows and grows inside of him/There’s nothing there, there’s nothing there” – Bloc Party, “So He Begins To Lie” Lyrics

The drive to defy oneself, to break morals and traditions, can come from nowhere and consume. For some, this convulsion can lead to violence and immoral behavior, but for the singer, it produces lies in an honest man. Formed from nothing, the lies fill the empty space, formerly held by virtue and truth, in the man and consume him. What is left is a different man, one with a compromised view and a broken mind.

8. “It was the truth that fell from these lips/It blinded us and in the darkness left” – Bloc Party, “Truth” Lyrics

The truth, despite its nobility, often can cause more problems that it solves. Once it is revealed, truth can form a mask that hides anything else, a blessing to a world of lies but a curse to something pure, but fragile. The singer notices one such truth as it is revealed, forming the metaphorical Venom and covering the relationship in darkness. Even when the shock and pain leave, the mask remains and creates more problems, staying long after the actual point of the admission is dead.

7. “We drop the lighter into the gas/If the whole world is watching us/Let them watch” – Bloc Party, “Kettling” Lyrics

A late but welcome take on the 2011 London riots, Bloc Party uses “Kettling” to continue their support of the riot participants. “Kettling” is a police tactic that traps large riots and contains the scene, but the band uses this mass gathering for another purpose: public destruction. Eager to televise the chaos, the group commits arson and spreads anarchy, making sure that everyone can see how Britain can act under pressure. They survived the war, after all.

6. “What, what do you see when we’re alone, say what you mean/ What, what do you feel when you turn away, turn away/You’re being mean” –  Bloc Party, “Mean” Lyrics

Playing the homophone, Bloc Party uses the lack of communication in their relationship to signal “mean” behavior. The singer is blind to his partner’s feelings, both in good and bad times, and hopes to find clarity. By holding out on the singer, the partner is “mean,” but the feeling that defining meaning is difficult is mutual. In the end, mean actually is mean, the real story behind words and emotions proving far more harsh than the unspoken truth.

5. “Can’t shake the feeling we’re moving backwards/History repeating itself” – Bloc Party, “Coliseum” Lyrics

“Coliseum” combines a break-up song with the recently popular Roman Empire, creating a BL=loc-rock take on the classic formula. Simultaneously critiquing the progress of his love and the world today, the singer sees the cycles of pain, romance, and torture beginning again and aims to end it as harshly as the Late Antique fall of Rome. Like the Coliseum, fragments will remain, but the whole will be made useless and dead.

4. “I’ve lived in every town/But here is where I find home” – Bloc Party, “Real Talk” Lyrics

Sometimes home is anything but a place, a feeling in two hearts that moves with the lovers. The singer feels an attachment that is unbounded and permanent, enough to make home wherever his other half resides. Despite visiting the world, he finds that where his love stands is where he wanted to be all along. The “Real Talk” has a downside, the realization that home is now occupied by another, but the more positive reality applies to us all.

3. “They would claim the best things are hidden/But I was here, you came to me” – Bloc Party, “We Are Not Good People” Lyrics

“We Are Not Good People” explores a number of themes, including less typical relationships and an honesty above and beyond the norm. The adage that the best things in life can only be found through struggle and searching does not hold true to the singer. Instead, he realizes that he has presented himself to the lover at all times, always open and honest, but the other person has failed to realize. Holding true for countless other relationships, sometimes the best thing is right in front, hidden only by a self-induced blinder for another goal.

2. “This time I know I’ll that I’ll stay clean/Anything it gives it will take back/The city’s here for you” –  Bloc Party, “Day Four” Lyrics

Coming quite close to copying the tone and approach of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge,” “Day Four” is a look at a half-week of withdrawal and the need to find an old high. Rapidly switching from promises to symptoms to hiding, the singer is torn and lost. The city offers help, but will consume the user, while the drug promises only to rob him blind. The internal chaos tears at the singer, leaving him a wreck of a man. The voice says it all: this will not be the last time.

1. “He is not the real me/But I can hear, I can hear, I can hear him/From my future” – Bloc Party, “V.A.L.I.S.” Lyrics

“V.A.L.I.S.” tackles the chaos between the present and future self, a man distracted by his desires to learn and explore and his own image of tomorrow. The future version speaks to an ideal, a dream that could be, but the present version is too lost to see the path. His head filling with advice and misdirection, he panics and buries deeper into “methylamphetamines” and conspiracy, drifting further from where he wants to be. We all reach the point when our present state is not our ideal; hearing it in music drives the point home so much more. The mix of syllable wordplay and a common fear in all of us make “V.A.L.I.S.” one of Bloc Party’s strongest tracks to date.

Check out the lyrics and explanations to Bloc Party’s Four on Stereo IQ:

Bloc Party – 3×3 Lyrics
Bloc Party – Coliseum Lyrics
Bloc Party – Day Four Lyrics
Bloc Party – The Healing Lyrics
Bloc Party – Kettling Lyrics
Bloc Party – Mean Lyrics
Bloc Party – Octopus Lyrics
Bloc Party – Real Talk Lyrics
Bloc Party – So He Begins to Lie Lyrics
Bloc Party – Team A Lyrics
Bloc Party – Truth Lyrics
Bloc Party – V.A.L.I.S. Lyrics
Bloc Party – We Are Not Good People Lyrics

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