Despite the flurry of gossip suggesting Bloc Party are calling it a day for a second time, Kele, Russell and Gordon have been keen to assuage our fears and play down the rumours of their demise (though Matt has remained schtum for the most part, and has been noticeably absent from festival performances).

Whether it's true or it's not true, or even if it's another elaborate hoax on their part in a bid to ravage the last shreds of credibility from the NME, is yet to be seen. Regardless, they're squeezing out one more Four-era cache of material, in the form of The Nextwave Sessions EP. This might not be the full-stop blogs are predicting, but merely a comma in their tempestuous history. We can decipher their tiff at a later date when evidence begins to show itself; for now, let's be glad we've even got this new EP.

'Ratchet', with its fantastic accompanying video, is a grime-rock tune that would slot neatly next to 'Octopus'. It's got a vital bassline, a feature we've not really seen since 'Positive Tension' (not to suggest Moakes isn't a valuable member, but rather he tends not to stand at the front of the music), and the jittery, agitated guitar veers towards drug-induced paranoia. Where Kele's slang often stung in past cuts, it's less contrived and more natural; his semi-rap/MC role in the track is a wise repositioning of his vocal talents. If it's any indication of a future direction, it's going to divide the Bloc Party fanbase (even more so than Intimacy), but it will be a riotous change.

The quartet have never stuck to one style for more than an album:Silent Alarm has visceral post-punk, A Weekend In The City is their ode to London life via stadium indie, on Intimacy we see them dabble with electronica and neo-dance. We welcomed the brash guitar return of Four, but it was still a vast leap from any of its predecessors. Perhaps we'll get Dizzee and Wiley featuring on the next record.

'Obscene' is a sluggish post-dubstep number with thunderstorm wobs and trembling half-time percussion. It's on par with classic Bloc Party ballads - "I don't know where I've been/ but all I really know is this seems obscene/ forgive me for what you've seen/ all I really know is that I've been obscene to you," and Kele's taught vocals are spewing raw nerves with every creak of his falsetto. It's unmistakably Kele, but this is the most real he's sounded in years. There's no pretense, no hepcat lingo or flippant register scaling. It's naked and honest. 'Montreal' is another slower jam - it's no ballad as such, but more on par with tracks like 'SRXT' or 'Biko'. Drum and Bass beats, spewed ably by master sticksman Tong, skitter underneath shadowy bass and sparse Lissack strumming. It's back to erring on the grimier side of Bloc Party, again hinting at the distant horizon.

A 'French Exit' for those not in the know, is the act of vacating the premises of a lover immediately after dumping your load, while it's still seeping out. Lovely stuff. Lissack reportedly came up with the title for the track. It features manic soloing from the six-string surgeon - his fretwork is wondrous, switching between reverb-drowned lo-fi and the wah-wah monstrosities of 80s rock. The track itself is like some weird hybrid of Intimacy, Four and Silent Alarm sounds – Kele's rapidfire vocals are gritty and un-produced, but the lurching chords and hard rawk noises belie it's pared-down nature. It could be an unused cut from any of the three aforementioned records (it's not very AWITC-y though).

It's a shame that Bloc Party aren't just buckling down and marching straight into another record, because if it's like this, we'd have something impressive on our hands. Hopefully their time apart will rejuvenate their weary souls, but not dampen the style they lean towards here - if it's possible for the four of them to dive right back into where they've left off, that would result in some great music. But chances are, especially with the group being so reticent and reluctant to repeat themselves, whatever (/if) we get will be ten times removed from The Nextwave Sessions. Maybe they'll stumble upon a penchant for folk. Who knows.