Do You Like Rock Music?
British Sea Power return with their third and finest full-length. Here they reintegrate the rock with a slew of blistering guitars and unpredictable studio noisemaking worthy of their visceral live performances. Witness fist-pumpers like "No Lucifer" or the Bonzo-styled drumbeat bashed out under a climactic synth-string section on "Waving Flags." Better yet, "Down on the Ground" and "A Trip Out" both feature guitar riffs worthy of the Judas Priest songbook, before they're enveloped in the vast expanse of their accompanying songs. The sound here is raw and spacious. Guitars remain largely drenched in reverb, and various acoustic instruments grace the arrangements, along with various random noises and happy accidents. On "Canvey Island," vocalist Yan describes the fatal 1953 floods on the Thames estuary from the viewpoint of a football fan decrying the loss of memorabilia rather than lives. On "Atom" he decries the "bright but haunted" modern age through the apt metaphor of the split nucleus: "Oh caveat emptor / Open the atom's core." Brainy explorations like that, along with BSP's notoriously clever sense of humor, make the self-conscious title no surprise, but there's really no better way to describe it. This is what rock music can and should be. Product Description