Lurch into odd-ball avant-pop almost pays off for UK eccentrics
Rating: 7 / 10
Edwin McFee, 11 Feb 2010
When it comes to the time in a band’s career where they have to make a second record, they usually take one of two options. There is the tried and tested choice of making a similar racket but beefing up the production values. Alternatively, there is the path less travelled of going a different route entirely, which only a handful ever consider as it means potentially alienating their existing fanbase. British hopefuls These New Puritans have gone for the latter method and have birthed what is set to be a polarizing, yet powerful record.
While Hidden is far from an easy listen (for example, their new single ‘We Want A War’ is a sprawling seven minutes worth of nightmarish insanity) if you stick with it there is plenty to love about the album. Juxtaposing the electrical with the organic, choirs, hand claps, six foot Japanese Taiko drums and broken glass are all employed in a variety of fashions with the band’s twin leaders Jack and George Barnett doing their best to create a riot all of their very own. There are flourishes of MIA (‘Fire-Power’) and Tricky (‘Attack Music’) but ultimately Hidden is its own monster. While the likes of ‘Hologram’ probably won’t make the band a household name we doubt the TNP really care too much as their musical gamble has paid off in spades.
Key Track: ‘Attack Music’