British Sea Power - The Decline Of British Sea Power

Alex Worsnip 02/06/2003

Rating: 4/5

The first thing that you hear on this CD is a 40-second Gregorian Chant entitled “Men Together Today”. From this, its safe to say British Sea Power are an eccentric band. But eccentric is a word to be scared of in music recently, with bands like The Coral being “quirky” and “mad” for the sake of it and forgetting to make good music. British Sea Power tread the line between irritating and unspeakably cool - landing, fortunately, on the right side on most tracks, even on “Apologies to Insect Life” which is a bit of a endearing mess. But “Something Wicked” is glorious stately pop, and doomy, beautiful songs like “Fear of Drowning” and “The Lonely” evoke Joy Division and This Is My Truth-era Manics. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the glammed-up fuzz of “Remember Me” and “Carrion” recalls peak-period Bowie. Despite these many influences, only “Blackout” is anything less than consistently inventive. But at 14 minutes “Lately” is the album's stunner, a song for which the word epic seems too conventional.