Rolling Stone (10/16/03, p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[These] five young Bowie boys from Cumbria...specialize in mystical jumbo-size guitar waves..."
Entertainment Weekly (9/26/03, p.95) - "...A pitch-black-perfect channeling of such gloomsters as the Smiths, Joy Division, and the Cure..." - Rating: A
Q (01/01/04, p.75) - Ranked #47 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[A] mysterious, mossy debut..."
Magnet (11/03, p.89) - "...It all comes off as effortless and charming....British Sea Power is esoteric, but the band is also brave enough to create myths at a time when everyone else is just borrowing them..."
Mojo (Publisher) (01/01/04, p.58) - Ranked #17 in Mojo's "The Best of 2003" - "Think methodical drums, intense guitar and a young David Byrne on vocals."
British Sea Power: Hamilton (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, bass); Yan (vocals, guitar, piano, organ); Noble (guitar, piano, organ, background vocals); Wood (drums).
Personnel: Hamilton (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, background vocals); M.J. Noble (guitar, piano, organ, background vocals); Matthew Wood (drums).
Audio Mixer: Dave Bascombe.
Recording information: Golden Chariot Studios; Mockingbird Studio; Roundhouse.
Editor: Kevin Bartholomew.
Photographer: Mayumi Hirata.
British Sea Power's 2003 debut, THE DECLINE OF BRITISH SEA POWER, is a hard record to pin down. In that sense, they are England's answer to Yo La Tengo, an indie rock band who can frolic in a sea of Sonic Youth-esque punk fuzz on one track, then create the most flutteringly exquisite (and lyrically acrobatic) pop this side of the Smiths' glory years on the next. On "Apologies to Insect Life," the band gets lost in post-punk reverie, an energy not relinquished on the rockabilly fever of "Favours in the Beetroot Fields." On the other end of the spectrum lies the Smithereens-meets-Echo rock ballad "Remember Me" and the shimmering "Carrion," the latter one of the more catchy `00s indie power ballads (certainly the best to sport the phrase "brilliantine mortality"). While it's a somewhat difficult album (and would prove polarizing), it's also a stunning bow by a vibrant band featuring some of the most potent rock songwriting of its era.