British Sea Power

Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)

On its 2003 debut, The Decline of British Sea Power, U.K. indie-rockers British Sea Power laid buzz-saw guitars on top of an expansive, psych-tinged background. The band's 2005 follow-up, Open Season, sacrificed some of that steely bite for strings and swooning textures. Without jagged guitar slashes propelling them, the songs frequently sank beneath the weight of their chilly new-wave swirl and shimmer. Do You Like Rock Music? doesn't quite respond to its own question with a deafening yes, but the album's grit and glamour are better calibrated this time around. Opener "All in It" features a marching choir of voices; "Lights Out for Darker Skies" has a nervy jangle that spins off into dreamland; and the gauzy, arena-sized "Waving Flags" sounds positively spiritualized. And that's just the first third of the CD.

Do You Like Rock Music? sags a bit in the middle, but regroups in time for the eight-minute finale, "We Close Our Eyes," which reaches an atmospheric intensity that Coldplay's Chris Martin has only to read about.

 
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