These New Puritans - Now! Pluvial EP
Bill Cummings 18/11/2006
Ladies and gents they've done it again, those angular types have been sitting in the hills(of the err New Cross) sifting through the grit to find us those musical nuggets of gold. Their track record is proven, the same label that's given us Luxembourg, Art Brut, Bloc Party and The Long Blondes in the last few years, have delivered yet again. These New Puritans are the band, remember the name, their sound is a very particular brand of tetchy- lo fi post punk, its rhythmic serrated edges, and scratchy politicised vocal ticks, will, if your not carefull, burn their way into your skull, until you're marching your way to their mind altering beat.
Apparently this obscenely young quartet hail from the "Southend Scene"(yeah the first I've heard of it too) and have been delivering some eye catching performances around the capital, in support of the likes of the Violets and the Horrors. First track "Elvis" has a rumbling anxious Bloc Party esque- regimented rhythm that beats a path to your door, frantic distorted vocals pouring forth from front man Barnet's mouth, a bullying buzz saw guitar in his hands, his eyes shot through with paranoia, running from something, big brother is watching, "'We're being watched by experts/ I cant find the words' . His screams are part Mark E Smith, part anxious teen, the whole damn ramshackle thing could fall apart at any second, yet it somehow it doesn't, "Elvis" literally defines the words "art rock."
'16th century" about ancient mathematical guru John Dee, is even more exciting, violent pounding Public Image Limited beats, and a thudding Joy Division bass line crank up the incendiary pressure point rhythm , while Barnett garbles and drawls, before the whole thing explodes into a dance floor barging commotion: that constantly gobs at the past "To history we will say we were right! we were right we were right."
Closer 'En Papier' comes on more like a sonic experiment that's fallen down the back of your sofa, there's a kid turning the vinyl 12" you left on your dusty old record player, then suddenly a drum pattern and a big scary filthy riff that emerges from under your bed is disturbed by some spoken barely audible vocals, before breaking out into some kind of existential chant "EN PAPIER! EN PAPIER!EN PAPIER!" and then just for a brief moment, a compromise to melodicism, is that a half sung melody I spy under that cushion? Nope, oh well back to a strict clicking electro rhythm for rest of the track. What's so promising about These New Young Puritans is their willingness to experiment, while the NME slather over the Horrors, a band who's sonic palette is limited to old records and hairspray left over behind the Cramps and the Damned, these new puritans's tech punk bristles with filthy energy and an invention that could very well see them finding a place on your turntable as well as mine.