British Sea Power

Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)

Belying its hideous cover art and silly title, Do You Like Rock Music? is a work of surprising depth and invention. The third album from the pallid, Brighton-based Brits who go by the name of British Sea Power falls squarely within the tradition of big, rousing British rock albums — think Oasis's Definitely Maybe and the Manic Street Preachers' Everything Must Go — without sounding remotely like them.

Credit the production team, which helps BSP construct its soaring, Glastonbury-ready anthems atop a North American indie-rock foundation. The first single, "Waving Flags," owes a heavy debt to The Arcade Fire — as it should, considering the involvement of Canadian Howard Bilerman, who also recorded and mixed Funeral. A few songs later, the album's epic centerpiece, "Atom," interprets postpunk as the Smashing Pumpkins did shoegaze, dragging the genre's inherent pretensions into the context of a pop song.

The invention here isn't anything exceedingly odd or unusual but rather in creating something familiar, both in substance and arc, out of unmistakably foreign parts. It's the rare British album that doesn't assume inspiration to be synonymous with nationalism.

 
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