Review: These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid

The striking thing for me when listening to These New Puritans is the sheer coldness of their first album. Granted, it’s the sound of four highly intelligent musicians from Southend with impressive record collections but they show little in the way of hearts. Thankfully it’s also music given a modern twist with short, incisive bursts of songs, which at least sound exciting and different.

These New Puritans CD Cover

“What’s your favourite number? What does it mean?” is the key line to ‘Numerology (AKA Numbers)’; its barked lyrics seem half-influenced by childrens’ education programmes but it’s allied to a funk/post-punk backing. Likewise ‘Colours’ marries funk guitars to intense percussion. Choruses are chanted rather than sung.  It led me to think that if this group were around at the time of Joy Division they would be accused of being Nazis. Lighter moments are few but ‘Doppelganger’ and ‘Costume’ provide welcome respite from the austere atmosphere even if their titles promise otherwise.

Nevertheless several tracks are impressive, ‘Infinity Ytinifni’ makes the best use of military drum beats and abstract electronica to create a dark and original song, ‘Elvis’, perhaps the most poppy offering, has traces of new wave and builds dangerously into a shouted chorus. In the same way, ‘Navigate-Colours’ understands the need for melody. Overall, though, it’s a record to be admired rather than adored and because of its very “now” feel, it will be interesting to see whether it stands the test of time.

Web Sites:
These New Puritans Official Site
These New Puritans MySpace

Further Listening:
The Fall

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