British Sea Power, Film School

British Sea Power

Do You Like Rock Music? charts the latest step in the evolution that took British Sea Power from its post-punk-flavored debut, The Decline of British Sea Power, to its slicker sophomore disc, Open Season. For record No. 3, BSP enlisted three producers, including former Arcade Fire drummer Howard Bilerman—notable because this latest album is essentially Neon Bible for people who do, in fact, like rock music. "Canvey Island" is cut from the same melodic cloth as Bible's "Intervention," with a warmer texture. "Down on the Ground," meanwhile, is the kind of track that sets BSP apart, sounding like Ian Hunter playing indie rock.

If Arcade Fire merely teases, British Sea Power hits you in the mouth; Rock Music is moody but lacks debilitating melodrama. Similar bands such as Doves and Arcade Fire seem to be playing from some higher plane, but British Sea Power's sound rises from a subterranean morass of soil, blood and distortion, enabling them to connect with their audience on a truly visceral level. Shoegaze/indie rock outfit Film School shares the bill with BSP, just as it did at South by Southwest.

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