As Interpol is to Joy Division, British Sea Power is to Echo and the Bunnymen. That is, they don’t really sound that much alike, but it’s a useful comparison for lazy writers. More considered descriptions might mention the air of peculiarity cultivated by the band. In concert, the performance of songs about nature hikes or disintegrating ice floes is augmented by an approach best described in the song ‘North Hanging Rock’: "Drape yourself in greenery/become part of the scenery." Their notorious adornment of themselves and the stage with tree branches reached its inevitable conclusion when bassist Hamilton, up a tree collecting said props, fell and broke his arm after sawing off the branch he was perched on. This is either perfect or a bit precious, depending upon your perspective.
The reason they’re not a fully realized indie Spinal Tap, is the dark undercurrent swirling throughout their music: Dramatic melodies and dryly obtuse lyrical allusions to insomnia, amnesia, and cemeteries underpin the affectation; the comparisons springing most readily to mind are literary (fittingly, for a band that sings "I wrote elegiac stanzas for you" in the chorus of track one). If Lewis Carroll were still alive, this would be his favorite band. Well, this or Huckapoo.
Less immediate, but hookier and more varied (the track ‘Victorian Ice’ is almost jangly) than the debut The Decline of British Sea Power, Open Season is genuinely eccentric enough that it could have been named after another great second album. The title would require slight tweaking, though. More Songs About Buildings and Birdwatching, perhaps?