Wednesday, 26 August 2009

2003: The Decline of British Sea Power

So one night a friend had come over to stay, and the night had been spent (as I recall) flitting about various bars and houses in Cardiff, the day's alcohol intake having begun at 8.30am with a can of lager to celebrate a friend's birthday awakening. After a day spent ingesting a variety of things I shouldn't have, we ended up in my room, listening this album's mind-blowing fourteen-minute climax, 'Lately'. I was slumped against my door frame, eyes shut tight, mouthing every word. When those words include, 'Do you like my prehistoric rock? Do you like my neolithic rock?' and so forth, it can make one look a little daft. Just saying.

That's the kind of kick I get out of this record though. It is, quite frankly, bloody epic. Starting off with forty-two seconds of Gregorian chanting - as you do - before kicking the doors down with a four-minute punk-rock sonic assault across two songs, the album finally settles into something of a stride with 'Something Wicked'. From hereon in it's sort of like this: breathy vocals, soft, Galaxie 500-esque acoustic melodies, sighing backing vocals... to be interrupted as often as possible by really loud distorted guitars! It's not a particularly new formula for indie rock, but boy do this lot do it well. Fact: 1.53 through 2.06 on 'Fear of Drowning' is the best thirteen seconds of music ever recorded.

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