British Sea Power: Sea of Brass (Golden Chariot)

Brighton indie rock crew augment their sound with 28 piece brass band to wondrous effect

Released Oct 30th, 2015 via Golden Chariot Records / By Erick Mertz
British Sea Power: Sea of Brass (Golden Chariot) There is a thread straight through this album, thin and taut, nearly indestructible that is almost heartbreakingly beautiful in how it effortlessly shifts from orchestral mastery, into dramatic, post rock explosions, back to a simmering, assured middle ground. The power of British Sea Power is in the transitions. The Brighton band are masters of this kind of record (for the lack of a better term) bewitching mixtures of popular rock access and an unflinching artistic expression.

Like a more corporeal Sigur Ros, whereas the Icelandic band ethereally orients their explorations of the rock form, BSP set the listener adrift on the rough, shimmering waters of planet earth. Opening with a triumphantly symphonic bang on, “Heavenly Waters” the course is then set for a Beatles-esque journey through grandeur (“Machineries of Joy”) and maudlin (“Albert’s Eyes”) and bravado (“Atom” and “A Light Above Descending”).

When Sea Of Brass climbs into it’s final, powerful movement, the “Good Morning” influenced track “When A Warm Wind Blows Through The Grass” and the astoundingly gorgeous shoegaze anthem finale “The Great Skua” the sense of arrival is undeniably complete. This record travels to new sonic ports of call, which was its intention all along, charting a course, glancing off deck at sights and vistas unviewed. If the nautical terminology seems old, my apologies but there is a persistent theme at play and the uneven seascape lies at its core.

Early issues of Sea Of Brass will include a live album, which blend songs from the studio recording in with older BSP material. The live renderings are necessary compliments, bigger, heftier versions with a heightened sense of illusion at play.