The twin brothers Barnett are back: it’s These New Puritans, joined by Graham Sutton (Bark Psychosis) David Tibet (Current 93) and a sizeable list of other chums. In the bobbing, neoclassical wave wake of 2014’s Field of Reeds, the band seem to have found their way into a more energetic, seething post-punk for this one.
Vinyl LP £19.99 4050538451887
Limited edition, acidic multi-colour vinyl LP on Infectious Music.
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CD £12.49 4050538451894
CD on Infectious Music.
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I promised I wouldn't do it. I promised I would wait until I received a final finished version of These New Puritans new album before I formed an opinion. Similar to the fact that I'm not judging them on their appearance at Princess Eugenie's wedding, I'm not going to judge them on Into the Fire, the lead track from this long awaited new album which I found dull, repetitive and underwhelming. I didn't want to be that guy who instantly dismisses a record without listening to it whole. Just imagine the Twitter furore when Spirit of Eden was released? It doesn't bear thinking about.
I'm happy to report then from various soundclips (yeah I know) that Inside the Rose collectively is better than the initial impressions given by that song. They'll never make a record better than Field of Reeds (who will?) but Inside the Rose is full of the sort of bold, experimental and thought provoking music that we ache for at Norman Records. It seems to follow a lineage from David Sylvian, Coil, the Blue Nile and all those artists who dug a little deeper.
There are flaws. Where the Trees Are On Fire is a beautiful dramatic piece of music which frustrates only in its constant repeating of the title. Lyrically I was hoping for more here - is it enough just to repeat the same refrain over and over? Sometimes, yes but here I'm feeling short changed. Much better is Anti Gravity in which These New Puritans perfectly find a sound midway between the loose-limbed compositions on Field of Reeds ad the dramatic orchestrated music they have been aiming towards since. The title track is possibly the culmination of this - something that recalls both Ryuichi Sakamoto and Burial. A massive sprawling burst of sound with is both emotionally draining and extremely sonically interesting.
It's this juxtaposition of beauty and experimentation that we are sorely lacking particularly in British music these days and These New Puritans are one of the few bands to really strive for something different. Buy this record and let it envelop you.
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