Whether by accident or design, Bloc Party seem to have cultivated a reputation as the indie act of choice for students. Sure, they borrow punk and funk influences from a bygone age but the songs seem to be geared around the excitement and disappointments of young life. 'A Weekend In The City' uses this idea as a very loose kind of concept album. Nevertheless it's an idea they work well in an articulate and occasionally thrilling fashion.
'Hunting For Witches' redeploys the same frantic guitar sound used on early hit 'Helicopter' but it has enough of its own energy on the addictive chorus. 'Waiting For The 7.18' is musically a subtle triumph and the nod to Sudoku and driving to "Brighton for the weekend" is a clever way of contrasting boredom with the hope of escape whilst first single 'The Prayer's claim for invincibility is backed up with a memorable and exciting song. Elsewhere it's a bit hit and miss. 'On' benefits from a lovely string section, 'Kreuzberg' possesses a cute melodic hook but 'Where Is Home?' and the first track 'Song For Clay' seem over-crowded with ideas at the expense of real listenability.
As an album it succeeds in capturing the euphoria and comedown of a lost weekend but the regular shifts between dreamy and angular sounds makes it a rather awkward listen.