British Sea Power’s first album, The Decline of British Sea Power, was one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2003. The 2005 follow-up, Open Season, barely registered on any critical radar, much less any sales charts. The band’s third album, Do You Like Rock Music?, seems destined for the same kind of middling obscurity. The band’s recasting of Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen already seems quaint five years in, even though British Sea Power does it as well as anyone else.
There are passages of drama and emotion on Do You Like Rock Music?—the quiet interlude two-thirds of the way through “Lights Out for Darker Skies,” the sweeping intro to “Waving Flags”—but British Sea Power’s straight-faced appropriation overshadows the band’s solid songwriting and heartfelt performances. There’s plenty to like here, but you can’t help feeling like you’ve ended up inside a John Hughes movie.