Thursday, September 18

British Sea Power- 'Do You Like Rock Music?

. Thursday, September 18
British Sea Power
‘Do You Like Rock Music?’
Rough Trade
January 14th

Releasing an album in early January is a double edged sword in many ways. It is beneficiary as barely anyone releases material at this time of the year so you are guaranteed a large amount of press, on the negative flip side however you are destined to be forgotten pretty quickly when the bigger bands get around to releasing their acetate efforts.

British Sea Power clearly could not give two shits about either of these things though and are merely returning with another album of eccentric, bombastic rock music. Rock music appears to be of the utmost importance to BSP as they describe things that are ‘rock music’ and not ‘rock music’ as being as clearly defined as good and evil. In a recent interview singer Yan and guitarist Noble described the Cruyff turn as the epitome of rock music, a moment of other worldly genius. The same could be said for BSP latest effort. The bands third LP is shrouded in unconventionality and non conformity. The production team behind it can lay claim to opuses by Arcade Fire, God Speed You! Black Emperor and Jarvis Cocker) whilst the recording process sounds more like a Michael Palin documentary than the typical affair. Cornwall, Czech Republic and Canada (The alliteration is presumably coincidence) were all ticked off during the making of this album. All of these factors mixed together have spawned the first great album of 2008.

‘Do You Like Rock Music’ flits effortlessly between Shins like cute ballads and grandiose chasm filling anthems with ease and clarity. Book ended by ‘All In It’ and ‘We Close Our Eyes’ these tracks work like an anaesthetist bringing you in and out of Sea Power consciousness. The album kicks off properly with ‘Lights Out for the Darker Skies’ which brings to mind The Hold Steady and more prominently The National with its pounding rhythms and gritty delivery. ‘No Lucifer’ has an ethereal anger running through it alongside the infectious chanted refrain of ‘Easy. Easy’ that if you forget the Tim Lovejoy Saturday morning yawn fest connotations is devastatingly powerful. Recent single ‘Waving Flags’ drives the album on with Arcade Fire style muscle.

Much of ‘Do You Like Rock Music’ is a slow burning affair however it does boast two brilliant instantaneous power pop moments in ‘A Trip Out’ and ‘Atom’ that really pick the album up after the slightly lacklustre ‘Down On The Ground’ and the unnecessary ‘The Great Skua’. The pace and tone of the album is unbalanced slightly by the final pairing of ‘No Need To Cry’ and ‘Open The Door’ which take on a more eerie and delicate tone. Both the tracks work but by being stuck on the end of the album they feel more like an afterthought than a key part of the LP.

Whilst very little will dislodge ‘The Decline Of…’ as favourite amongst BSP fans ‘Do You Like Rock Music’ shows progress, experimentation and mainstream musical ideas all careering into each other at once to create a maudlin but beautiful affair. This is what ‘Neon Bible’ should have sounded like.
'No Lucifer'



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