Album Review: British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

Why yes, my dearest foliage-loving British Sea Power, I do indeed like rock music. Thanks for asking. And more importantly, thanks for making such a fucking awesome record full of scathingly savvy, intellectually organic rock for me to enjoy while I wait for the weather to warm up so I can blast your album whilst tooling around Richmond with the windows down to share your joyful noise with my fellow man.

To set the scene, I’ve been a British Sea Power aficionado for nearly six years, ever since I heard their chilly yet massively appealing song “The Lonely” on a Q Magazine mix CD. Their debut LP, The Decline of British Sea Power, was unlike anything else I was listening to at that time, and thankfully, three years later, British Sea Power is still a horse of a different color. I mean, how many other bands do you know of that don 19th century peasant garb and take to stages sprinkled with twigs and watched over by the occasional stuffed owl?

Do You Like Rock Music? is BSP’s third LP, and much to my relief it sounds a lot more like their debut than sophomore album Open Season. It’s not that Open Season wasn’t enjoyable, but you know what they say about second albums. These thirteen tracks showcase British Sea Power’s deftness at sounding somehow otherworldly yet deeply rooted in the English soil. Their music is steeped in the vast history of Britain, and for those of us who are more than a little into history this is a major turn-on. From the drum-driven, swirling, repetitively chant-like opener “All in It” to the lengthy, pulsating finale “Elizabeth and Mary Meet the Pelican,” the band is at their esoteric, wry best. But what’s most endearing about British Sea Power is that they show off their love of obscurity while they rock your pants off. “Lights Out for Darker Skies,” “No Lucifer,” and “A Trip Out” are the finest such examples on Do You Like Rock Music?.

Bottom line? British Sea Power made another fantastic album, and I am thankful once again that they deign to share their talents with the rest of us. Looks like one more spot on my best of 2008 list is taken.


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