British Sea Power’s longevity is heartwarming – purveyors of landscape indie to a fanbase who’ve never deserted them. But the title track of this, their fifth long-player, sees BSP seemingly having a go at being Elbow – it’s big, melodic, unthreatening and unchallenging. Within a couple of songs there’s the blistering rock of ‘K Hole’, the delicately poised, beautifully orchestrated floatiness of ‘Hail Holy Queen’, and the standout track ‘When A Warm Wind Blows Through The Grass’, which has a filmic quality, like the soundtrack to some hazily defined drama. But barring those high points, ‘Machineries of Joy’ is decidedly patchy, exemplified by the tepid, lukewarm dullness of songs like ‘Spring Has Sprung’. BSP’s USP has always been their well-documented eccentricity, their love of on-stage foliage and their unusual lyrical themes, and until now they’ve backed this up with albums as engaging and interesting as their persona. This record, by contrast, feels like the band are stepping into a comfy pair of slippers after a nice warm bath.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in Loud And Quiet 47, out now

British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy on MUZU.TV.

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