British Sea Power have always been a little difficult to pigeonhole. The most common term used to describe their sound is “post-punk”, and they are frequently compared to The Pixies, David Bowie, and Joy Division. Fortunately Do You Like Rock Music? contains many of the best elements of these bands while still maintaining an original sound.
The majority of the songs on Do You Like Rock Music? transcend the typical synthesis, attaining something singular, while also harping what can traditionally be described as alternative rock anthems. While plenty of British Sea Power songs in the past have contained clever hooks and catchy melodies, none of them have come close to the sophistication contained in these twelve tracks.
The pedigree of this album's producers and the locations where it was recorded almost make better news fodder than its music. With recording time split between a converted water tower, a two hundred year old fort, and the forests of the Krivoklatsko Biosphere Reserve in the Czech Republic, you can almost hear a more epic scope somewhere in the mix; at the least, it’s not surprising that the album doesn’t sound like typical alt-rock fodder. The production credits are split between Howard Bilerman of the Arcade Fire, Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You Black Emperor! fame, and Graham Sutton. And despite the changes in scenery, this all-star production team managed to construct and sustain this alt-arena meets shoe-gaze blend throughout the full-length.
Tracks like “No Lucifer” and “Waving Flags” showcase the arena rock tendencies that British Sea Power hinted at in the past, now with complete aplomb; while there might have been a question of the band's ability to pull off such exclamatory music in the past, Do You Like Rock Music? rests any doubts in my mind. While the album as a whole represents the most coherent sound British Sea Power has ever produced, it also lacks some of the raw energy contained in The Decline of British Sea Power. So if you haven’t made up your mind yet whether or not you actually like rock music, allow British Sea Power to help.