J. Edward Keyes
April 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Have Brighton’s promising Britpoppers been taking Ritalin? British Sea Power’s debut, 2003’s The Decline of British Sea Power, was a manic mix of the Pixies, Pavement, and Proust, but alas, that feral energy has evaporated. In its place are well-bred rock numbers that chug dutifully forward, running on mannered riffs and indifferent vocals. Open Season does have its moments — the James-like transcendence of ”Please Stand Up” and slow-burn spookiness of ”Be Gone” both raise gooseflesh — but the only real surprise is its wan predictability.

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