After their middling last studio album ‘Valhalla Dancehall,’ which included too many unmemorable songs, many thought the swell had subsided and British Sea Power were on the look for a new energy source. But alas, Brighton’s best indie rockers have restored the faith with ‘Machineries Of Joy.’
Released at the beginning of the month, the distinctive album title is inspired by the short stories collection of the same name by American author Ray Bradbury – a man who has unknowingly loaned influence to track titles for the band in the past. The lengthy opener Machineries Of Joy has an indescribable warm and melodic touch. With a fluid mixture of positive key changes, the beautifully sung “we are magnificent machineries of joy” loosens the mind and its formless properties confound the ears.
K Hole utilises a typically dirty British guitar sound and shows the meaning of haste by promptly landing straight into an early chorus. Quite the opposite, Hail Holy Queen begins like a polite chat over tea with your gran, with Hamilton taking command offering a generous whispering vocal. The book-smart group, offer some wonderful lyrics and historical references; as per usual British Sea Power fans might add.
Notorious for their live shows, including military uniforms and on-stage taxidermy, British Sea Power seem to have shifted towards sane as opposed to wacky on this album. Loving Animals is a definite highlight and Monsters Of Sunderland has that static shock effect; it sparkles along with great accuracy. It’s remarkable how an album with concealed variety, has achieved such agility and seamlessly blends one song into the next.
Spring has Sprung sees Hamilton take the reins once again from brother Yan on vocals; the song completely delivers. A Light Above Descending offers an achingly tender vocal, something they are not usually associated with. This track has the ability to change the mood of any setting. It is truly immaculate song writing – something not said often these days. It’s been ten years since their debut album ‘Decline Of British Sea Power,’ and with this record it looks as though they have finally come full circle and mastered their niche.
‘Machineries Of Joy’ is symbolic of a band on top of their sound and genre.