Machineries Of Joy
From the moment eerie synth lines impose themselves on the bare landscape of the title track, Machineries Of Joy, Sussex sextet, British Sea Power, set listeners up for a darkly melodic journey.
The band draws heavily from its ‘80s alt rock roots. Filled with Pixies-inspired dynamic shifts and juxtaposition, the manic transition between sombre anti-ballads, such as the melancholic What You Need The Most, and energetic rock songs, such as the boxy, midrange-heavy K Hole gives the album a constant sense of forward momentum.
The songwriting is mature and deliberate, without sounding contrived. Singer Jan Scott Wilkinson’s breathy vocals provide the connective tissue between tracks, while the production atmospheric and subtly texturous approach conveys inspiration from the band’s recording time in the Welsh mountains.
Perhaps the album’s only real weakness lies in its lack of any clear charting songs. An album of strong songs, lacking exceptional ones – though the title track makes attempts. This tends to make the album blur somewhat in the middle.