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Here’s British Sea Power, back with their fifth album of sweeping and cinematic indie rock. These guys have been going for years and very much settled into their niche by now, effortlessly knocking out a fresh batch of confident pop ballads and angular indie rock anthems. It’s very slickly done, with beautifully constructed songs, but by now it does all feel like a safe formula.
I think the band are very good at what they do, which is by-the-book indie rock the vast majority of the time, but the moments here which stand out are where they try something a bit more ambitious - the swells of brass which join the build-up which closes rocker ‘What You Need The Most’ instantly grab my attention, for example, but the insipid following track ‘Monsters Of Sunderland’ exemplifies the National-esque laurel-resting malaise which keeps this from having the same visceral sense of excitement of their first couple of albums. Like Elbow, they’ve become a band who know what their fans want and deliver it, an endless feedback loop of rudderless nu-indie traditionalism.
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