British Sea Power is a band that gives Indie back to the thinkers, romanticists, and trainspotters. Equal parts abrasive noise, gorgeous melodies, and too many unique intangibles to mention, BSP are far too good to ever break through in our country, one that prefers it's ideas clearly shouted out in black and white, not slate gray and forest green. British Sea Power epitomize everything that is great about pop music. They are literate, passionate, and full of tunes.
Pulling equally from 2003's The Decline of British Sea Power and the recently released Open Season, Brighton's finest stunned onlookers with ferocious intensity, wind-swept balladry, ceramic ducks, and frequent crowd invasions. The feeling of intent is gravely obvious, from the stunning backdrop adorning the stage, to the way that vocalist Yan and his brother Hamilton on bass stare out into the crowd with a mix of menace, sadness, and wonder. Thundering opening salvo "It Ended on an Oily Stage" proved that the perfect pop single is alive and well, and the sublime "North Hanging Rock" is an updated "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" in the way in which it makes the idea of an early death sound hopelessly romantic. One gets the impression while watching them that they have been beamed in from a past when the best pop bands beckoned you into their world. And no this is no excercise in garage rock nostalgia or another in an even longer line of 80's pastiche, but a return to when the word "indie" meant more than angular haircuts and the right trousers.
As the last pummeling note of set-closer "Rock In A" rang out as band members rocketed into the audience and into each other, something else became quite clear. British Sea Power will never be "cool". Only the easily boxed and pigeonholed will draw the trend-spotters and hangers-on. But in a different world entirely, some bands will put out records like Open Season, the kind that the curious will seek out many years and endless stylistic insurgences later.