Album: British Sea Power
Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)
Sunday 13 January 2008
Before anyone knew about Arcade Fire, British Sea Power were making epic, uplifting music which didn't shy away from thinking big. Before anyone knew about Franz Ferdinand, British Sea Power were resurrecting the idea of intellect in indie rock. Somehow, their two albums to date failed to elevate them to the same heights as those bands. There's a strong chance that their third might finally bring them the success they richly deserve. Recorded in three places – Czech Republic, Cornwall and Canada – and with three producers, 'Do You Like Rock Music?' ought to be a disjointed and fractured work. Instead, it has the unity and broad sweep of a great film or novel. Singer Yan has a way of making everything sound poignant and full of eternal truth, even if it's as obscure and inscrutable as "On Canvey Island 1953, many lives were lost/Along with the records of a football team". Other subjects include ITV wrestling, subatomic physics and maritime life. 'Do You Like...?' is so sublime it brings a tear to the eye, leaves the listener ennobled, raised to a higher plane. Let the trilby boys rummage around in the dustbins of rock. British Sea Power are above it all, emperors of the elegiac.
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