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Brighton Rock

British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
(Rough Trade)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2008
British Sea Power

Review by Tony Bonyata

Surely the title of British Sea Power's third effort, Do You Like Rock Music?, must be a loaded question. If not, I wouldn't be writing this and, just as certain, you wouldn't be reading it. A more apt question might be, do you like our rock music?

For this outing the Brighton, England foursome, led by the charismatic vocalist & guitarist Yan (aka Scott Wilkinson), have turned in a sumptuous collection of multi-layered guitar-driven songs that leaves behind some of their early comparisons to acts like Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths and Pixies. But just as they've moved forward from these apparent influences they're now incorporating a call-to-arms styled chamber-pop in the vein of Arcade Fire, which is most evident on the epic anthem "Waving Flags," "No Lucifer" and the chanting opening track "All In It," complete with church organ and civil war-era marching band drum rolls. Perhaps the inclusion of former Arcade Fire drummer Howard Bilerman as co-producer for the album may be the cause of this, or perhaps the influence of Bilerman's former comrades is just starting to permeate through other acts such BSP.

Comparisons aside, and to be perfectly fair, Do You Like Rock Music? marks British Sea Power's most accomplished effort to date; one that successfully mixes the cinematic instrumental of "The Great Skua" with the twee indie pop of "Open The Door," along with the Guided By Voices-hued rocker "A Trip Out" and, arguably, the strongest song of the band's career thus far - the indelible, majestic and hard-rocking "Atom."

So even though this album marks a departure from the former strengths of their previous two albums (The Decline of British Sea Power and Open Season) the answer, fellas, is, yeah, I like rock music...your rock music.

Related articles

British Sea Power - Open Season - Album review

Watch British Sea Power - "Waving Flags"

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