Does life imitate art? Well, it’s probably just coincidence that British Sea Power’s new album features a track called ‘Monsters of Sunderland’, just as the politically dubious Paulo Di Canio takes over the managerial reigns at Sunderland FC. Whatever the case though, it seems that despite the eponymous track’s emotive thump and drive, the song is unlikely to feature heavily at the Stadium of Light at any point this season. Unless of course the club avoid the perils of near-certain relegation, that is.
The Black Cat’s loss stands to be our gain however, as ‘Machineries of Joy’, the sixth album to be released by the Brighton based group, provides a welcome reminder as just how diverse the indie rockers can be.
It must be noted as this point though that the term ‘indie’, or in fact any attempt at classification when it comes to describing the musical output of British Sea Power, seems woefully inadequate. But in an attempt to placate all you genre-junkies out there, it has to be said that such descriptive concerns are not merely the result of journalistic inability, rather it is unclassifiable nature of BSP’s disparate oeuvre that goes to show just why this group remain one of the most exciting British acts of recent times.
The albums opening track, the titular ‘Machineries of Joy’, comes searing into the listeners consciousness with an otherworldly ambience reminiscent of a younger Brian Eno, but as has been mentioned earlier, such is the diversity of their influence, associations of this type can only be tenuous at best. Further on, songs such as ‘Loving Animals’ and ‘What You Need The Most’ showcase the rich sonic landscape BSP have become famous for, with all manner of sound-effects and samples adding a rich texture to the predominantly guitar led sound. Long may this album be remembered then, and long may British Sea Power rule the (air) waves.
8/10, out now, Ed Kirby
For more info, and tickets to upcoming shows, visit BritishSeaPower.com