Review: Jack Foley
BRIGHTON-based indie-rockers, British Sea Power, can claim the
likes of David Bowie, Bill Oddie, Radiohead, Jeremy Vine, Lou
Reed, Ludovic Kennedy, REM, Ian Rankin, Julian Cope, Jon Savage,
Daniel Radcliffe and Damien Hirst among their fanclub.
Yet such prestigious names do not guarantee record sales and
even though debut album, The Decline Of British Sea Power,
was greeted with critical acclaim, it has sold 50,303 over-the-counter
copies in Great Britain and a little over 200,000 worldwide -
which is a mere drop in the ocean compared to some bands.
The band has been busy trying to rectify this in time for their
second album, Open Season, however, by touring with the
likes of The Flaming Lips, The Strokes, Interpol, Pulp, The Killers
and The Duke Spirit in the two years since their debut offering.
Whether or not it does the trick remains to be seen, especially
as Open Season falls a little short of the high expectation
Lead single, It Ended On An Oily Stage, was a suitably
rousing taster that sadly is only emulated by half of the album.
Much of this is due to the somewhat limited vocal style of lead
singer, Yan (the band, reportedly, don't use surnames), who tends
to make every track sound the same, particularly during the slower
But there is also something missing that's difficult to put the
finger on (unless it's simply a question of personal taste).
Of the good stuff, To Get To Sleep rates among the best
the LP has to offer, showcasing the band's ability to deliver
some lustrous pop melodies with slightly offbeat lyrics - much
like second track, Be Gone.
While some gutsy guitar-work helps to turn both Victorian
Ice and Please Stand Up into rousing indie
But too often the album feels a little repetitive and nowhere
near as praise-worthy as some reviews have suggested.
It's just a shame that an album that encompasses girls and guillotines,
love and Larsen B, the foremost of all the collapsing Antarctic
ice shelves, cannot be a little more adventurous vocally.
1. It Ended On An Oily Stage
2. Be Gone
3. How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?
4. Like A Honeycomb
5. Please Stand Up
6. North Hanging Rock
7. To Get To Sleep
8. Victorian Ice
9. Oh Larsen B
10. The Land Beyond
11. True Adventures