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Open Season
     

Open Season

by British Sea Power
 

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With a proclivity for wearing WWI military fatigues, dressing their live stage with shrubbery and stuffed birds, and singing lyrics about fjords, fields, and the rest of nature's spoils, British Sea Power could probably get jobs with the National Geographic Society if they ever tire of music. Let's hope they don't, because this five-piece is capable of some of the

Overview

With a proclivity for wearing WWI military fatigues, dressing their live stage with shrubbery and stuffed birds, and singing lyrics about fjords, fields, and the rest of nature's spoils, British Sea Power could probably get jobs with the National Geographic Society if they ever tire of music. Let's hope they don't, because this five-piece is capable of some of the most grand, stirring rock music being made today. Musically, their impressive 2003 debut, The Decline of British Sea Power, was a split personality affair, equally divided between frenzied, Pixies-ish noise and gorgeous guitar anthems. For Open Season, the band have chosen the latter, and while those manic bursts of energy are missed, this is an album of such sweep and grandeur that it hardly matters. Album opener "It Ended on an Oily Stage" typifies Open Season: big guitars and bigger, swaying choruses designed to rouse you to your feet. This goes double for the album's standout track, "Please Stand Up" -- possibly the band's best song to date -- which shows off their growing skills as songwriters and musicians (drummer Wood, in particular, is one of the most facile, understated players around). Elsewhere you get odes to icebergs ("Oh Larsen B"), the importance of 40 winks ("Get to Sleep"), and more frozen wonders (the countrified "Victorian Ice"). It may help to have an appreciation of the Great Outdoors, but Open Season has a natural beauty all its own.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - MacKenzie Wilson
British Sea Power's 2003 debut album was a fascinating post-punk-inspired set that sparked artful originality and thought-provoking emotion. Their follow-up, Open Season, does the same but it's much more of a streamlined affair. Open Season is virtually a 45-minute waltz of lilting string arrangements and dreamy vocals while acoustic and electric guitars chase the album's quiet golden tones. A theme of the great outdoors makes it a relaxed occasion from start to finish; the 11 songs featured aren't a schoolbook interpretation on life's hardships as much as they are a reflection on the confusion (and love) of nature. Frontman Yan and his brother Hamilton remain charming eccentrics, but this time they're poetic with their stoic, overcast outlook on modern life. The question Yan seems to ask throughout Open Season is whether or not life is really crap. Commencing with the copper-toned "It Ended on an Oily Stage," Yan softly croons, "We found God in a parking lot." He ponders whether the experience was actually real, and if it has ever happened to anyone. "How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?," an emotional seesaw of crunchy guitars and sheeting percussion, is oddly comfortable with the album's continuous mental inquisitions. The bird echoes of "Please Stand Up" match the ice-capped perils of "Oh Larsen B," maintaining the album's rich affections. Some might think that the five Cumbrian intellectuals have made their shining pop moment with this record despite British Sea Power making it quite obvious on The Decline of... that they're anything but a pop band. British Sea Power's smart approach on Open Season showcases a band in progress. This album feels alive and breathes honesty. Such an impression once again makes way for British Sea Power to stand apart from their counterparts (Doves, Coldplay, South).
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Eccentric and majestic.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/05/2005
Label:
Rough Trade Us
UPC:
0021823005621
catalogNumber:
30056

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