â€œWe are magnificent machineries of joy.â€ With this Ray Bradbury reference, British Sea Power begins their sixth proper LP. A decade since they first stormed onto the scene with The Decline of British Sea Power, the group has circled back to the intensity and beauty that allowed them to be one of the few bands to survive and flourish from the English indie scene of the early 2000s.
Fresh from providing the soundtrack to From the Sea to the Land Beyond, the band seems to have brought some of that atmosphere to their latest release. The subtle horns and breathy vocals on â€œRadio Goddardâ€ are certainly reminiscent of a coastal landscape and bring to mind shades of Belle and Sebastian. Likewise, â€œWhen a Warm Wind Blows Through the Grassâ€ features hypnotic guitar and vivid imagery like the title itself and â€œyour nerves sting sharp as a knife.â€
But for all the calculated beauty, thereâ€™s also just the right amount of bombast. â€œK Holeâ€ is a punk affair right out of the gates, while â€œLoving Animalsâ€ channels a bit of Placebo with lilting falsetto and dark lyrics like, â€œI want you to know that itâ€™s wrong, man.â€ â€œMonsters of Sunderlandâ€ balances big guitar riffs with shades of funk, showing off the bandâ€™s post-punk roots.
The lyrics on Machineries of Joy do get esoteric at times, but thank God thereâ€™s a band around thatâ€™s not afraid to show off a bit of intelligence with its rock. British Sea Power are slightly odd, definitely talented, and certainly on-point with this release.