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|1. Time Xone|
|2. We Want War|
|3. Three Thousand|
|5. Attack Music|
|9. Drum Courts Where Corals Lie|
|10. White Chords|
At the time, this probably elicited a few sniggers; another group of indie wastrels whose ideas far outstripped their ability. But there was enough to Beat Pyramid to suggest this young Southend-on-Sea band had a rather good idea of what they were doing.
Now their second album arrives, and impressively it turns out that Barnett’s blue-sky dreaming is actually a pretty accurate description of Hidden – heavily beat-driven, almost entirely absent of guitars, and laced with large amounts of elaborately arranged woodwind and brass.
Does it work? Largely, yes – nowhere better than on We Want War, which kicks off the album following a short introduction. Seven minutes of tinny synthesised horns, droning bassoon, vaguely Timbaland drums and wood-on-wood clacks, it drifts in an eerie limbo between Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and Liars’ witchier material, and then chucks in a choir as well for good measure. Hidden, you feel, is not intended to be easily palatable.
Attack Music winds in the sound of breaking glass and drawn swords amidst crunchy digital dancehall beats. Fire–Power finds Barnett chanting “This is a mind attack / This is a world attack!” over naked, crashing drums. A rare moment of prettiness comes on Hologram, a drum stomp dressed up in twinkling piano and intimate, poignant vocals. Elsewhere, the mood is pagan, hallucinogenic, severe.
But there is plenty of focus here. Barnett has taken pains to explain his band are “anti-experimental”, by which he presumably means he’s fundamentally opposed to musicians floundering around in the hope they might accidentally do something interesting. These New Puritans, meanwhile, sound utterly exact, precise. It’s not out to please you, but Hidden is well worthy of investigation. --Louis Pattison
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Hidden is my favourite album of 2010. It is quite unlike anything I have ever heard before and the whole thing is intelligent and exciting.Published 23 months ago by Auto
I came to Hidden late, I have to admit. Though I'd vaguely heard of These New Puritans previously, my first exposure to them was seeing them perform live back in 2010 - I actually... Read morePublished on 23 May 2013 by Rooksby
This ambitious merging of frenzied tribal African rhythms and rituals, syncopated 'dub' beats, neoclassical elements, chamber music, heavy-metal riffs and church-operatic choirs,... Read morePublished on 5 July 2011 by Daniel Margrain
Sometimes an album comes along that is totally at odds with everything you are listening to or have ever heard. Think Unknown Pleasures or Trout Mask Replica. Read morePublished on 5 April 2011 by A. C. Scott
Cue Puritans main man Jack Barnett's all natural murmur being fazed to give way to some epic and grandiose choral melodies that reach celestial levels in pitch. Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2011 by C. J. Wilson
A highly ambitious project from TNP that they almost pull off perfectly. Percussion-heavy arrangements create a driving, powerful sound throughout. Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2011 by capnpookie
I admit it...got it on stregth of no 1 position in NME's albums of the year - always dangerous - and knew little of TNP before. So coming at this fresh but with expectation. Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2011 by LRN