HIATUS is a word that sends shivers down the spine of even the most optimistic fan. Is it a euphemism for a split or merely a sabbatical for self-indulgent solo projects? Bloc Party went on a hiatus in October 2009 after touring their Intimacy album; with no record contract to force them on, the four members took a breather, with singer Kele Okereke making best use of his free time by releasing solo album The Boxer. But the band have been back together since last September and, from the first note of new album Four onwards, they're on hard and heavy form – the riff on opening track So He Begins To Lie is like Gary Numan's Cars played backwards by Fugazi. Those regular Radiohead comparisons come back into play on Real Talk, however – the polished chime of the guitar, the voice that heads for falsetto heaven – but where Tom Yorke and chums freeform, Bloc Party keep it tight. Four is inventive and angular, more concerned with rhythm and texture than melody and structure – and at its best, it rocks like a beast.