Of the new wave of English acts, British Sea Power were always the most odd. First emerging five years ago, the Brighton four-piece would appear on stage decked out in local foliage they'd collected themselves, as they hammered out their blend of Joy Division and Cure-tinged rock covered in leaves and sticks.

As if importing nature indoors wasn't odd enough, the group would often have stuffed animals - ranging from owls to bears - with them on stage, which they routinely beat up each evening.

The music too was similarly arresting, with stunning moments of pulsating rock scattered across their first two albums, 'The Decline of British Sea Power', and the terribly underrated 'Open Season'.

Such recordings, combined with their whimsical eccentricities, have endeared them to a fanatic cult following, though that could all be about to change.

A 'Big' sounding record, 'Do You Like Rock Music?' has been garnering rave reviews and been rightly marked as the first essential rock album of 2008.

While most new bands continue to delve deep into the past to pluck the acts that will shape their sound, BSP have looked towards modern music, and specifically towards Canada.

Arcade Fire are the first obvious influence here - from the church-like mantra of opener 'All in It' to the anthemic 'Waving Flags' with its reverb-soaked guitars and choral swells.

Such influence is understandable, given that former Arcade Fire drummer Howard Bilerman is one of the album's three producers, no doubt lending the Brighton band some of the studio secrets he picked up during the recording of 'Funeral'.

Elsewhere, there are shades of Interpol and The Flaming Lips as BSP take us on a voyage through their take on Rock's history. 'Down On the Ground' fuses Interpol with The Ramones while 'A Trip Out' nods to early Blur with its chirpy guitar and vocal hooks.

The Blur comparisons continue on 'No Need to Cry', which also brings to mind Canadians Broken Social Scene and Stars as it breezes by, while 'Open the Door' has the air of a very British take on The Shins.

Chopped in amongst such musical styles though are BSP's very own eccentric influences, with the album's lyrical content suitably peculiar, taking in Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr, the Hitler Youth and immigration.

Hopping through Rock's genres, 'Do You Like Rock Music?' rarely grates and rather constantly fascinates as varied musical slices and a dry lyrical wit pepper its 55 minutes.

Three albums in, BSP have found their stride, and much of 'Do You Like Rock Music?' looks poised to become some of this year's festival favourites. Recommended.

Steve Cummins