Monday, January 18, 2010

These New Puritans - Hidden

Even after many listens, there's a question that still springs to my mind regarding Hidden: basically, where the hell does all of this come from? Excuse my surprise, but I'm still in shock over what this young U.K. band has managed to achieve in what is only their second full-length album. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the few that really liked the electro-punk hooks of their debut Beat Pyramid, but Hidden is something else, and for lack of better expressions, a true beast of its own. Inventing a dense and grandiose sound that seems genuinely new and like nothing ever heard before, These New Puritans take elements from surprising and until now quite unrelated sources (like reverberating drums, choral harmonies, grime rhythms, dissonant keyboards, children choirs, and more classical instruments like horns, oboes or pianos) and end up creating an unique conceptual universe, one which may be challenging to enter but ends up being totally worth the effort. And actually, the word "beast" is a very appropriate one to describe this dark universe, what with all the ceremonious vibes that come from it, like some sort of black magic voodoo, or pagan tribal rituals, to be equally fascinated by and scared of. With their model looks and Hedi Slimane endorsements, these four guys had all the hype and whatever else was necessary to become a reference for a whole generation, if they ever had that ambition. But in Hidden, they do the unexpected: basically, sending out a big fuck off to all of that, and making a fierce creative statement on their own terms, one that blends antagonic worlds like classical and rock music, minimalism and baroque, the ancient and the futuristic. And after being taken aback by the power of such extreme and epic sounds, this writer has just three words to say: amen to that. (9/10)

These New Puritans - Three Thousand (mp3 via

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