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ALBUMS

British Sea Power, Open Season

Picture of: Open Season
Artist:
British Sea Power
Label:
Rough Trade
Cat#:
RTRADCD200
Released:
2005-04-04

REVIEW

There is a minority of music fans that already proclaim British Sea Power as genius. There are some that happened across them and fled, after stumbling into a festival tent to find air-raid warden hats and swinging guitarists. Others ran scared from a friend's copy of their debut, The Decline Of British Sea Power, hearing nothing but organised madness. Open Season is the welcoming wonder that will change that.

Thankfully, the hubbub of trends has passed them by in production of this album, but what else would you expect? This is, after all, a band that fills the stage with oak twigs, stuffed birds and bear costumes; that takes inspiration from Charles Lindbergh's plane and collapsing Antarctic ice shelves; that releases double A-sides with Czech bands inspired by the martyrdom of sixteenth century nuns.BSP simply do not know the meaning of the word 'mainstream'.

Open Season is everything that a fan of their debut could have wished for. It moves their sound along, smoothing a few of the yelps and bites that surrounded their opus before, without ever affecting the edge and urgent erudicity that makes them so vital.

They touch on The Cure's epicness, Joy Division's desolation, the Pixies' scrawling fire and Talking Heads' twisted pop, all without ever truly revealing their influences. Instantly familiar and yet unsettling, Open Season's passion comes in the broad brushstrokes of the driven "How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?" and the sinister tenderness of "North Hanging Rock". It also contains three songs - "It Ended On An Oily Stage", "Be Gone" and "Please Stand Up" - that could comfortably sit in the top ten (which might just make for the single most bizarre Top Of The Pops ever).

Often, bands change to make it out of the cult file and into the big time. With Open Season, British Sea Power will become the latest in a line that includes Pulp, The Smiths, Beck and Björk, who simply waited for the mainstream to alter its course and engulf their tributory without them needing to embrace it.

Reviewer: Chris Long

HAVE YOUR SAY

Have you heard this album? Love it or loathe it, tell us what you think.

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your reviews as possible but we cannot guarantee that all emails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit reviews that are published.

I like it but... the first is better.
wander-Brazil

This is a grower and better than their first album. The songs are more complete, their playing has improved - the production is less raw.
Loz, London

It's a great transition from their stunning debut!
Matt, liverpool

I stumbled across this band on MTV2 and also caught them in concert at a Tsunami benefit in Brighton. Just bought this album on a speculative basis and really pleased. It has some really strong stand out tracks and a fresh feel. Recommended for all who appreciate inspired rock music with feeling.
Gary, Haywards Heath

A brilliant band who have truly delivered, on this, their second album. Not as deliriously inventive as the debut, but still a shining beacon of originality amidst a sea of dross!
Tommo, Burton Upon Trent

Fantastic new album. Less bold than their debut. After telling my friends about it they shied away from the unusual name without hearing the music. Their loss, this is a must have for anyones CD collection with a little bit of something in it for all.
Will H, Liverpool

There are some classics on this, 'True Adventures' is the greatest song written since 'Wish You Were Here'
Moogle, Cardiff

Most of the album is pretty good but Victorian Ice really is 'totally wicked but equally ace.'
Rupert, Cambridge

An outstanding album. All the songs on it are breathtakingly good and it seems they are now destined to go from strength to strentgh with their unique style of amazing rock music.
Gary, Liverpool

After playing the first album into the ground, I am already in danger of doing the same again. A big hearty slap on the bag for the lads from me.
Dave G, between Cambridge and that London

I defy any of you to find a better song about an Antartic ice shelf.
Mavis, N.Ireland

good album. glad they've ditched wearing military headwear - i like the image but that's taking it a bit too far!
craig, manchester

my mate tells me this is an awesome album but not heard it myself...did go and see them at the manchester academy last sunday though and heard some of the new stuff, true genius i reckon, just hope its as good as 'the decline of'
pete, stockport

i love it to bits! 'How will i ever find my way home' is the best song by far.
Cat, Sheffield

Finally, an album worth shouting about. Too much radio and press space given over to the likes of the most overrated new band (Kaiser Chiefs) and these poor guys don't get any. This should be the year of British Sea Power but unfortunately i just can't see it happening, too many students overhyping the dullest thing to come out of music since the Lightning Seeds (Kaiser Chiefs again). Come on people, let's make 'em number one with the next single!
Matt, Bury

I love this album!!!
Karen,Cheshire

Open Season is a brilliant return for the lads, isn't it? I love the album, and look forward to them performing the new stuff at their gig in Newcastle in May!
Mikey, Bishop Auckland

I loved the first album, though it wasn't to everyone's taste. 'Open Season' should propel the band to a level way beyond just being known for great live shows - A real grower and a belter!!
Jamie, Southampton

Well I liked it.
dick, Barrow-in-Furness

i heard this guys on the radio so i bought the album they are really good the songs are about the enviroment and stuff which is really good
will york

The next best thing after Kitchens of Distinction.
Tim, Orlando

they're stateside they're awesome looking forward to seeing them in May
steve, new york

Simply superb, British Sea Power, please stand up and accept the adoration of a nation!
Rich, Shrewsbury

A musically superior second effort, but crucially, British Sea Power are still better in theory than in practice. There's not quite enough breadth of scope here - too many songs blur into one another, and they remain more of an intriguing curiosity rather than truly essential.
Shane, Dublin

Love it. I can't take it out of my player.
Tom, St. Paul, Minnesota

Awesome album! Love the haunting vocals!
Liam, Macclesfield

the numbers of comments from the lads in liverpool hint at the brilliance of e&b and tde reflected in bsp.. seen them 3 times garage the best suited and booted and pogo'ing at the front..
stan. hiding in guildford

The first album rocked - the second album is a big dissapointment. It's like they've taken all the worst bits of the first album and made the second album.
paul, southampton,

The obscurity and failure to achieve mainstream success of British Sea Power is to the consternation of those lucky individuals who happened upon them. They just deserve to be heard by a greater audience than they are, but then, isn't that part of why we love British Sea Power? If they were snatched from us by the mainstream sheep I feel it would ruin the charm somewhat. British Sea Power are undoubtably underrated geniuses, but they are our underated geniuses. Superb album, 'Please Stand Up' is audio perfection, and you know that if it were released by a mainstream band it would be hailed as the greatest song of the year. 'Oh Larsen B' is simply gorgeous. You must buy this album (if you want to listen to it, I found out you can on nme.com, just search for them in the artists section and select the relevant feature, you must have real player installed for it to work)
Abi, near Bristol

Everything BSP have done has been great, but that doesn't ensure success other great bands have died without ever getting recognition even in this indie-friendly era (e.g. Lowgold).
Rob

I love this album as much as the first. I saw them at the end of April here in SF for the first time. Easily the best live rock show I've seen in, well, ever. I cherish everything about the band and I love how I don't fully understand why they do the things they do.
Brendan, San Francisco

brilliant!i love it!
st greece

One of those rare records that gets better the further in you go (unlike Hot Fuss, Employment, To Me You Feel etc). Buy this and chuck your Bravery and Bloc Party nonsense in the nearest skip.
Wess, Notts

Mighty fine. Britain's finest band (by a nautical mile) hone their craft and cement their appeal. I haven't felt this good since the Bunnymen released "Heaven Up Here".
Fits, Liverpool

A good follow up to their brilliant debut. They have definitley reigned in some of their more alternative edges, probably with a wider audience in mind. However, its still a great listen, carries some great tunes, and their English eccentricity remains at the forefront of their charge for success. BSP deserve all the credit currently being heaped upon them. Certainly one of England's finest, I just wish theirincessant touring schedule would one day consider Australia ! BSP we miss you man !
Leigh, Adelaide (ex Manc ! )

Quite good, but nothing really special on the music level. I'm not too surprised that this band hasn't had a vast amount of mainstream success. Still, they've got charisma it's better than bland Bloc Party and other NME-hype bands.
Ralph, Cumbria

Even better than the first. Most songs have a hook that will be stuck in your brain for days. Highly recommended. I got to see them live.
Ken, Philadelphia, PA

I have had this record for a few months now and i have felt compelled to post my comments as i am still not bored of listening to it. Open Season is a modern Classic showing a band really coming into their own in terms of sound and songwriting. Lyrics about the weirdest of subjects set to beautiful slightly off kilter melodies and killer hooks. Im so surprised the singles havent done that well, Please Stand Up/Oily Stage are Indie Pop classics and it must be down to poor promotion they havent broke the Top Ten. Mind you, for now we should be glad that BSP are a lesser told secret so we can keep them for ourselves. For me Open season is the Best Album by a British band this Millenium, better than Last Broadcast, rush of Blood, Libertines, Up All Night & Hail to the Thief. Nuff said, if you are reading this and still havent bought this record, please, please buy it, this band deserve our praise & money.
Steve, Chorlton

another great bsp release. True Adventures is genius.
Edward, Leicester

I bought this album on the strength that Kath Aubergine loves them and wrote a gr8 review of it in some Manc paper. It really is a lot better than the first album that never quite hit the spot for me. If the first one was a 7 out of 10, I'll give this a 9. Lots of Pulp in this and they do it so well... Col
Col - San Francisco

what an band,and what an album,this band are light years ahead,and how please stand up was not number 1 for a month is a f****** crime,roll on the next gem,b.s.p. take a bow,all the best.
bernard,dublin city

Yes, I Like British Sea Power.Many happy returns to them, as haven't heard them on the radio (BBC 6 music) recently).
Wendy, Manchester

Why do my friends slag off this great band and say the lead singer sounds like David Bowie? Brilliant album.
Simon, Sydney (ex St. Helens!)



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