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British Sea Power: Do You Like Rock Music?

British Sea Power has always played the eccentric outcast, so the title of its third album, Do You Like Rock Music?, smacks of irony. Or maybe not: While DYLRM? lacks the wild-eyed spits and howls of Decline Of British Sea Power, it's definitely BSP's most rocking effort yet, replacing the sterility that plagued its sophomore slump, Open Season, with stadium-sized bravado. Since it's nearly impossible to talk indie-rock theatricality without mentioning Arcade Fire, consider the ecclesiastical similarities in the bookends "All In It" and "We Close Our Eyes" duly noted. But BSP resists such easy comparisons, thwarted by Scott Wilkinson's singularly haunted voice (unsettling even in the bouncier moments of the emotional rollercoaster "Lights Out For Darker Skies") and lyrics that prove the band is still making the most of its college education, including references to Carpathians and odes to obscure geographical landmarks that would baffle Sufjan Stevens. That obtuseness has cost British Sea Power wider exposure in the past, while also winning it a fiercely devoted fan base, but it's easy to see the choral call-to-arms of "Waving Flags" and the steampunk propulsion of "Atom" as its first proffered hand.


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