Album: Machineries of Joy
Record Label: Rough Trade
Serene and nuanced, "Machineries of Joy" is the Brighton quintet's finest since "Do You Like Rock Music?"
Despite their name, something about British Sea Power’s peculiar brand of eccentric Britishness has always been firmly tongue in cheek. This is no bad thing, and actually has turned BSP into a force for valuable British music, something that is well defined on “Machineries of Joy.” A cynical, sarcastic outlook on the semi- destructive nature of the coined “British Culture”, “Machineries…” is part some of the most nuanced song writing they’ve ever achieved (the title track, “What you need the Most”) part epic (“Monsters of Sunderland”) and part the serenely organic (“Radio Goddard”, “A Light Above Descending”). All in all, it stands amongst BSP’s finest work.
Key tracks: Machineries of Joy, What You Need the Most, Monsters of Sunderland
For fans of: Pulp, Brakes
Artist: The Dillinger Escape Plan
Album: One of Us Is the Killer
Record Label: Party Smasher Inc./ BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
The New Jersey mentalists protrude even further into the side of expert weirdness
When on the verge of beginning to listen to a new album by the Dillinger Escape Plan, it is imperative that the listener remembers but one thing: “Expect the unexpected.” It’s not really possible to have a “Dillinger by numbers” album, but if it was it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, because “One of Us Is the Killer” is them doing what they do exceptionally well. Opener “Prancer” and the more jazzy “When I Lost My Bet” are two of the most frighteningly precise pieces of Metal you’ll hear all year. Greg Pruciato croons over the spectral but doom- laden title track in a silky falsetto, whilst “Understanding Decay” is a brilliantly constructed example of how seemingly impossible sonic matches can work. Expertly produced and expertly performed, “One of Us Is the Killer” has all the traits of Dillinger’s best work.
Key Tracks: Prancer, When I Lost my Bet, Paranoia Shields
For fans of: Mr. Bungle, Converge