These New Puritans

By - Mar 1st, 2008 02:52 pm
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By Kyle Shaffer

Beat Pyramid, the debut full-length release from UK dance-rock stylists These New Puritans, tows the line between brash post-punk and freak-out electronica. The record, which would sound as appropriate in a voguish pub as it would on a catwalk, brims with dance floor drums, noisy samples and artsy/obscure references sure to have the hippest of hip scratching their heads.

After the creepy opening piece, “I Will Only Say This Twice,” “Numerology AKA Numbers” sets the mood with a skittering guitar line and Barnett’s dissection of the psychological significance of numbers. It’s a sign of things to come: great beats driving frantic, noisy compositions about everything from global climate change to the kidnapping of a BBC journalist.

The entire record is an aural overload, cramming in enough sounds, samples, beats, melodies, layers, blips and beeps to induce epileptic seizure. This method at times culminates in devastating, white-noise virtue on tracks like “Infinitytinifni,” but proves distracting and even incoherent on tracks like “Swords of Truth” and “Colours.” While the disc’s talk-singing single, “Elvis,” proves a rewarding listen, perhaps the stand-out track is the instrumental “Doppelganger,” which springs with space and groove — an antithesis to the album as a whole. These New Puritans have crafted a heady record that, though a bit pretentious, warrants a good listen, even if it’s only born of curiosity.

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