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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Music This Week

Staying true to their indie roots,the six-member band British Sea Power (BSP) released their fifth studio album Valhalla Dancehall after a hiatus of a year and a half.

Written by Express News Service | Published: January 15, 2011 5:05:09 am

Valhalla Dancehall

British Sea Power

Rough Trade/iTunes

$9.99

Rating: ****

Staying true to their indie roots,the six-member band British Sea Power (BSP) released their fifth studio album Valhalla Dancehall after a hiatus of a year and a half. Known for their cinematic concerts and politically provocative lyrics,BSP rarely stick to one genre,and yet are able to create a cohesive record with a distinct,recognisable sound.

This album begins with their signature call for a revolution in Who’s in control,which is heavy on punk with a “militant,not military” opening and could very easily be the theme song for a political coup. Vocalist Yan Scott Wilkinson advocates “protesting was sexy on a Saturday night”,setting the tone of the album. Songs make smooth transitions — from the versatile drumming of Matthew Wood in We are sound to the traditional piano sounds and soft vocals along the lines of a country ballad in Georgie Ray,to the 11-minute-long pop fantasia Once more now where you can almost visualise the stage performance. The band has retained its youthful,rebellious energy. Stunde Null and Mongk II are wrapped in a surprising burst of raging guitars and early 1970s German progressive rock,while the soft airy vocals of Baby could make it a slow dance number even. Part of the charm of BSP lies in not chasing conventional aims of a musical career and in not staying tied to their comfort zone. Playing on the fringes of mainstream,yet stubbornly holding on to their indie funk roots,BSP surprise you with their contradictions.

deepika.nath@expressindia.com

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