Brilliantine Mortality

Press: Singles reviews

It Ended on an Oily Stage

Manchester Music
As we await the anticipated endeavours of BSP's second album "Open Season", the band, after what seems an endless season of tours, re-open their innings with another slice of 80's alternative rock. Sounding like a more solid incarnation of The Psychedlic Furs fronted by a young, lighter weight David Bowie, "It Ended On An Oily Stage" is a bigger, wider and even more splendid, spangled sounding classic. Warm vocals and distant harmonies are spliced up with echoes of distant Bunnymen guitars and chord structures, that evoke sounds of angular, early New Order hooklines. Beautifuly metallic in places, but the aural equivelant of an organic alternative, British Sea Power are most definitely back - it should - must - also be their year. 4.5/5.
Manuel Ecostos

Pop music is a fairly stale loaf of bread at the best of times. So naturally those of us who have chosen to fall in love with it find life rather unsatisfying. Occasional chest nuts can be found though, many of them are lurking in the strange world of British Sea Power, a place not to far from Wiltshire, I hear. The latest export from this mystical world is 'It Ended On An Oily Stage.' An unabashed indie rocking corker, stacked with shirt rippingly catchy guitar licks and timeless break downs. The story of the song seems to be that Vocalist Yan has found god in a parking lot, or someone he knows has found god in a parking lot, and he has just gone to the beach for the day. Either way it all makes perfect sense to the listener. Beautiful mysterious and bizarre, it's all I ask from my bread.
Kolly Kibber

This is Fake DIY
Imagine if every band you ever loved had a musical love child, and unleashed that creation on the world. Imagine that it occasionally channelled the spirit of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, with a possessed fervour and military fatigues. That child would probably be called British Sea Power. Brighton's current favourite sons skip from chanting monks to rocking guitars with the snap of a finger. However, lead single 'It Ended On An Oily Stage', taken from their second album 'Open Season', has a more melodic tone to it. Still, any band who appears to have entered the scene 50 years after their time and prefer to talk about the beauties of the Lake District rather than drug addictions, all the time leaving a dent in the alternative scene with a mark the size of a WW2 shell crater deserves praise. Of course variety is great, there's nothing worse than being unable to distinguish between artists' songs. Nonetheless they're a far stronger outfit when they attack a song rather than weaving their way through different sounds to arrive at a more pleasant-sounding tune. While 'It Ended On An Oily Stage' is the kind of single most bands would be proud of, British Sea Power have more than enough potential to top it. If only they could store their stage excitement and passion onto more of their records. Now, where are those chanting monks? 3.5/5.
Andy Hopkins

Remember Me (re-release)

Drowned in Sound
Actually, I think, we've been here before; indeed, first time around, we said that:

"'Remember Me' is an epic of an opus of a song, with scorching, dissatisfied guitars and a scowling, bronchial, Curtis-like lead vocal. And yet still the fragile beauty of the melody, and the charred emotion of the lyric remain clear... It all adds up to one of the most refreshing, vital, cobweb clearing records of the year."

...and we still say that, leaving us to expound upon the virtues of the scandalously tossed-aside extra track (CD1) 'Salty Water'; a beautiful, hushed ballad that is no less sizeable in scope than its lead-off track, but quite possibly even better. Obviously, it's not a state requirement to love BSP (yet), but if you don't, you're a foolish, cold-hearted bastard, and that's all there is to it.

Tim Scudder

Carrion/Apologies to Insect Life

Drowned in Sound
As Drowned In Sound becomes the 427th publication to lavish praise upon British Sea Power's drop-dead spunky double 'A' side, the worrying thought sets in that maybe, despite all the favourable words, this could be one of those bands whose greatest triumph is an Uncut feature 20 years in retrospect.

And that'd be a terrible thing, because BSP are a band to cherish like no other coastal art-rock historians at the moment. The gloom-anthem of 'Carrion' sounds like a breathy Bowie mixing up 'Ashes to Ashes' with the best of 80's avant-indie, whilst 'Apologies To Insect Life' is a mindfully infectious art-skronk of searing guitars and yelping vocals. Two equally apposite reasons to hold the Sea Power tight and never let them go, but for fuck's sake, tell your friends.

Gareth Dobson

Childhood Memories

Drowned in Sound
Big is back! Children have spent the last few months living in the starz away from the glare of the suicidal lo-fi torture game. And British Sea Power are at the front of the line to remind us that U2 once had a grip of punk rok reality. Flashes of the Violent Femmes with that whole 1983 post punk malarkey thang surprisingly sends a pop shiver down the drug torn spine. To be listened to: Whilst driving through Hunter S. Thompson's desert.
Peter White

Remember Me

Drowned in Sound
Despite the slightly grandiose, self-indulgent and frankly quite silly name, British Sea Power are actually quite fantastic. This, their first single proper, emphatically proves this point. "Remember Me" has possibly the most urgent, compelling and darn right exciting opening to a record for ages. Almost a minute and a half of pounding drums, spiky guitars and seaside sound effects, and then the vocal enters. A swirling psychedelic, fury filled eruption of a song, "Remember Me" recalls Joy Division at their finest (wasn't that ALL the time, though?) and, of the current crop of Brit guitar noise makers, are most comparable to Clearlake.

"Remember Me" is an epic of an opus of a song, with scorching, dissatisfied guitars and the bizarrely named Yan's scowling, bronchial, Curtis-like lead vocal. And yet still the fragile beauty of the melody, and the charred emotion of the lyric remain clear. Gentle B-Side "Lovely Day" by the way, is even better. It all adds up to one of the most refreshing, vital, cobweb clearing records of the year. Who knows? Maybe their IS something in this 'Guitar Britain' nonsense. If it produces records as good as this, here's hoping.

James Westfox

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