British Sea Power -‘Valhalla Dancefloor’ (Rough Trade)
It’s quite impressive to be able to report that BSP are five albums and ten years into their career.Whilst sometime labelmates like Messrs. Casablancas and Doherty (and their respective merry men) have seemed to hog the limelight at times (not always for the music in the case of the latter, either), BSP have got on with the business of being a great act on vinyl and live.
Whilst Valhalla Dancefloor doesn’t particulrly deviate greatly from what they have done over their previous albums, they give the impression that they are having far more fun than they have ever done before. Their songs are becoming ever more anthemi but -and this is the really good part -a)never descending into bombast and b)never soundling like a meat and 2 veg rock band.
BSP have always understood that experimenting and writing songs are not mutually exclusive ideals. Thus the first two tracks on the album ‘Who’s in Control’ and ‘We Are Sound’ tear the place apart, there are also tracks like ‘Baby’ and ‘Once more Now’ that are more reflective.
It’s not to say that this will be the album to catapault them to being a stadium-filling band, but I truly hope that this album will take them up another rung or two of the success ladder. It certainly deserves to.