Debut album from Brighton-based art-rock eccentrics

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British Sea Power – The Decline Of British Sea Power

British Sea Power understand the potency of ideas in rock. Eulogising Charles Lindbergh, Franz Kafka and Old Britain’s dignified steeliness is preferable to “it’s just about the music” banalities. This debut album has equally rich and varied sources. Early singles here (“Remember Me”, “Fear Of Drowning”) square BSP as Joy Division followers, but they’ve far more range. “Apologies To Insect Life” is a Brit version of the Pixies’ Hispanic punk fury, while “Blackout” echoes early Felt. Yet BSP’s own personality shines through. Few could fuse melancholy with madness as effectively as they do on “Lately”.

A riveting debut packed with ideas and invention.