With their fourth album delayed until early next year British Sea Power have, in its stead, released the ‘Zeus’ E.P. this week.
As with many such between album releases the E.P. allows the band to stray into new territory although the flip side of that is that not all of the material is essential.
Still there’s plenty to be going on with. The title track comes breenging into view on the back of some ‘Lust for Life’ drums and careers through its 7 minutes plus duration with a couple of time signature changes, never quite certain where it’s going next.
‘Bear’ meanwhile starts off as a fairly traditional BSP ballad but caps that with a lovely bass led coda which Messrs Coyne, Ivins and Drozd would be proud of. The influence of the Lips is evident too on ‘Cleaning Out The Rooms’ during which the band crank up the backing to epic proportions.
There’s a couple of tracks which are more rhythmic than your traditional BSP efforts including the spooky ‘Mongk’ and the electro stuttuer of ‘kW-h’ which is the EP’s biggest departure (but also one of my favourites on the E.P.). Its fractured electronica is perhaps reminiscent of some aspects of latter day Blur.
Less vital are the throwaway ‘Can We Do It?’ and the shimmering extra track ‘Retreat’ which meanders pleasantly enough to no real effect.
‘Zeus’ is not BSP at their most commercial as it is far removed from the clean sounding epic of last full LP ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’. But the band are certainly rewarded for taking a few chances and the record opens up new possibilities for future recordings.
Buy the EP here.
A live performance from Inverness of ‘Bear’ from the EP: