11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Krankenhaus Ep (Audio CD)
As a band, British Sea Power has walked down a well-trodden path to date. They began with an ear-catching debut album that built on the sound of celebrated 1980s British guitar bands. This was followed, in 2005, by that great rock n' roll cliché of a "difficult" sophomore album. Now, later on this year, the band will be back with its third full-length offering, Do You Like Rock Music? While that will be the main course, it does come with Krankenhaus?, a five-track entrée that was served up at the end of last year for popular consumption. Indeed, the first two songs on this EP - "Atom" and "Down On The Ground" are also track listed on Do You Like Rock Music?
The former is a gloriously rapid and thumping celebration of noise, ending with a lengthy guitar imitation of the wail of an air raid siren and, then, with the improbable sound of a baby gurgling. As an opening song, it has much in common with their debut album's "Apologies To Insect Life" (a truly fabulous song).
In comparison, "Down On The Ground" is less rambunctious in ambition, but still follows its predecessor's fast guitar style, whilst allowing Scott Wilkinson's voice to take greater control over proceedings.
"Straight Down The Line" provides some temporary calm, with its head-shaking rhythm, pop-sounding lyrics ("I never felt so good / I never felt so great"), hushed vocals, and gently pulsating guitar.
After the relatively brief wallop and screech of "Hearing Aid", the album finally closes out on the fantastic-sounding "The Pelican". This song opens to ninety seconds of church bells and deep murmuring guitar before abruptly descending into a loud and energetic three-minute romp of a New Wave nursery rhyme about pelicans, three-legged horses, thoughts of girls, and being the oldest rocker in town. The final five minutes of the song are essentially then a driving wail of guitars, before some climaxing drumming introduces a haunting series of sustained guitar notes that gradually fade away to nothingness.
To sum up, if the whole point of a starter is to whet the appetite, then the good news is that I feel hungry for more. Bon appetit!