British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall

Every discerning band or musician wants to make music that’s at the very least interesting. British Sea Power, though, have consistently strived to go a step further, hanging fascinating and niche concepts of ice shelves (Oh Larsen B) and long gone football teams (Canvey Island) on hooks made to measure.

On their first full length release since 2009’s Man of Araninstrumental, concept album, the Brighton outfit is still exploring off-kilter themes, but the musical invention that glued them together isn’t as cohesive as before: the electronic leanings hinted at on the recent Zeus EP are, disappointingly, explored all too sparingly.

Yan’s vocals are siphoned through a vocoder on standout track Mongk II, whilst the glitch-pop of Living Is So Easy is an impressive, successful departure. But too often (the shouty Who’s In Control and M.O.R. Observe The Skies) BSP are content to play it simple, resulting in the first real disappointment of their careers.

2/5

Written for The Skinny

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