About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

British Sea Power- 'Do You Like Rock Music?' Review

Rating: "Anthemic Music For Dummies"

British Sea Power. Even the band name has something totally underwhelming about it. And true to form, two albums in, the Brighton four-piece have yet to make a noticeable impact on indie (with album numero 2,'Open Season', charting at number 13). That may be all about to change, and so will their genre, from indie, to stadium rock. My experience with 'Open Season' was limited, but very enjoyable, and even still it pales in comparison with 'Do You Like Rock Music'.

This is an epic album. Many bloggers have already drawn comparisons between their updated sound and Arcade Fire, and you would be hard pressed to deny these. However, Neon Bible took things to their natural conclusion: their sound couldn't get any bigger, and there was something noticeably absent, lost in translation from their Funeral days to the 'bigger is better' Neon Bible. British Sea Power, on the other hand, are a completely different ball game. Rather than chucking in every instrument and sound that they can find, the band have obviously taken a more careful approach to updating their sound, and this has really paid off. The predecessor, 'Open Season', was a solid album, but not quite the Mercury-nominated album that many people thought it could be. You have to feel sorry for British Sea Power, when Arcade Fire seemingly pulled the rug from underneath them, taking the road to success with a very similar sound. Well, one good turn deserves another, and the time has come for British Sea Power.

Enough of the comparisons. This album has some brilliant songs. Take 'Waving Flags', the first single (out January 7th), which just may go the distance, giving them their first top ten single. The sound is big, with chanting choirs, violins et al, except they haven't gone so far as throwing a hurdy-gurdy in for good measure. Next comes 'Atoms', an anthemic mid-album track which opens with some quaint piano, which sharply cuts out, and then the trademark angular guitars open the floor. Another highlight is 'No Lucifer', a deep song with some questionable lyrics (which I'll let you work out!):
"Come on, allons y, let's go
We can always just say no
To the anti-aircraft crew
The boys from the Hitler Youth"

British Sea Power aren't your average band. Reviews of their live shows are littered with tales of their 'special' onstage antics, including assorted plant displays and a giant bear called Ursine Ultra (more on that one here). And you could say that there are many distinguishable factors on 'Do You Like Rock Music', setting them apart from their counterparts. First an foremost, we have the fact that they can reel off an album of this quality, no questions asked. Secondly, there's no denying their talent: the previous two albums have been met with widespread critical acclaim, but disappointing figures in the US. Could this be their crossover album? I truly, deeply, madly hope so.

It feels odd to say this now but this just might be- whisper it- the album of 2008, or at least a contender. For the band at least, I feel that this year might be like- to quote Stephen Spielberg when he won his Oscar- 'a cold drink after a long walk in the desert'. Do I Like Rock Music? Hell yes!

British Sea Power- Waving Flags
British Sea Power- Atom

'Do You Like Rock Music' can be bought here...

13 comments:

  1. Bro said...
     

    Don't say I didn't warn you.....also, props for "Waving Flags" being the first pop song to feature the word 'Carpathians' in it. Genius

  2. Nevin said...
     

    Why give the review such a negative sounding title, when your estimation is actually quite positive?

    This is a great record and deserves a better review title.

  3. Will said...
     

    How is 'Do You Like Rock Music?' a negative sounding title. It is what it is, an album review? Could you elaborate a little? I'm not quite sure what you mean....

  4. Ian said...
     

    I think Nevin means your rating. The first paragraph is littered with absurd, negative comments. It's quite confusing. "Anthemic music for dummies", describing them as a band with an underwhelming name and having yet to make an impact on indie. Their first two albums achieved considerable critical acclaim and charting at 13 isn't too shabby for a band who haven't appeared on X-Factor/Big Brother etc. They've not had the broad appeal of the likes of Kasabian, Babyshambles et al but that's not always an indication of quality. When you say your experience of Open Season was "limited" do you mean you didn't listen to it much?

  5. Will said...
     

    I listened to it about 6-7 times in total, and I occasionaly revisit it. I can see what you mean, but my negative comments aren't completely unfounded- number 13 is brilliant, especially for such a great band. I put those comments in to create a contrast between what they used to be, and what they will be, once this album arrives.

  6. Ricky said...
     

    Great read, definately a contender for record of the year

  7. Will said...
     

    And how great that it comes this early. I'm not sure where all these negative comments are coming from, but your positive outlook is definitely reassuring...

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