9 May 2013

British Sea Power - Machineries Of Joy



In music (or at least in modern music), there is rarely anything new. Mainly due to the fact that there is only so many notes around and only so many times they can be played in a particular order before someone else claims to have written them first.  I start this review by pointing out this, just to say that something does not have to be original and new to be interesting.  British Sea Power was originally from Cumbria, but now resides in Brighton on the south coast of England.  They have been ploughing their type of music since 2000 and have been hailed in the popular presses to be a wonder in the sea of indie music from these emerald isles.  As soon as I read something like that I tend to run in the opposite direction due to the fact that the British Indie press is one of the laziest and backwards thinking lot I have ever had to read.  But sometimes they get things right, did they do this with BSP or did they so a Laurie & Hardy again.....

From the outset I do have a very retro feeling whilst listening.  There is an updated Britpop sound to this work without the shite mockney accent of other artists. Yet inside this retro feel is an amazing sense of discovery, new sounds to people and something akin to an almost Sigur Ros mentality about the music.  It is a very organic album, but there is an almost Kraftwerk feel in places.  It is really hard to describe, but which there is little in the way of overall keyboards, when they do come in it just seems to lift the music to a different sphere of joy.  There is nothing here which is particularly new, I am sure I have heard the likes of "Hail Holy Queen" and the wonderfully titled "Monsters of Sunderland" in other forms but I cannot deny what is an interest take on this type of music.

The only thing I have a problem with this album is that it is easy to walk away from. Let me explain, when I review an album I tend to have the headphones on so I don't disturb the rest of the world (unless it is David Bowie), but when I had to get up and do stuff around the house I did not pause the album, and came back to a random track. But even then I did eventually play the whole album; I found that I had not missed anything that was vital or important to the record.  Sometimes I thought I had came back to the same song - and as good as tracks like "Machineries of Joy", "When A Warm Wind Blows Through The Grass" and "Loving Animals" are played; I cannot escape this feeling that if I walked away now I would not miss anything essential to me, and this makes me a little sad in a way.  The main reason for this is that as the album started it gave me a little excited buzz which I sometimes get with an artist, but once I knew I could walk away then the sense that the band (who cannot be faulted for the quality of the work here, I would like to add this) are just not for me.  I would recommend this to anyone looking for something new from the UK indie scene; I just will not be able to join them on this adventure.

6 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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