Sea Power. or British Sea Power as they were until recently known, are a band I've long been aware of, but never really listened to. The reasons for this I can't really fathom, I think it's largely because the tracks I did hear, though generally likeable, never seemed to grab me firmly enough to really demand my full attention.
But I'm giving their latest Everything Was Forever a listen now. Well, I'm done with work on a Monday evening and the film I was watching didn't grab me. The record is more than alright and I can immediately imagine why some, (even if it's only a devoted few), might be almost obsessional about them.
They certainly have an oceanic chug about them. Second track Transmitter almost sounds like a chunky tug boat heading out to sea on choppy waves. They've clearly chiselled out a definite identity for themselves over the years, a proud sense of mission and purpose over the course of their almost twenty years of releasing records on a regular basis but not really selling very many.
I almost feel that I've been missing out on something, never really giving them a proper listen even though I've been aware of them all this time and got the feeling that they might be a band worthy of intention. I certainly like this in the way that I liked bands like Wire, Split Enz, The Chills, The Go Betweens and early James. Bands that operated under the radar, not because they were contrary or bloody mnded. Just because they believed in what they were doing and were not willing to compromse that just for a shot at the charts.
Everything Was Forever won me over on first play and I'll be back to it. Sea Power may have dropped the British part of their name, possibly because they were not willing to risk any connotations with ugly political events of recent years, but they're still very, very British in terms of their singularity which aligns itself to the best aspects of our national character. Our resolve. Our eccentricity and complexity. I'll also be going through the back catalogue over the coming weeks to find out what I've been missing out on all these years.
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