These New Puritans and a Clash of Ideas

fromKEXP

Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Elvis"
  • Artist: These New Puritans
  • CD: Beat Pyramid
  • Genre: Rock
These New Puritans 300

In "Elvis," These New Puritans' members exude youth in countless ways. courtesy of These New Puritans hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of These New Puritans

These New Puritans' members exude youth in countless ways: They seem almost unaware of their influences, in a way that sounds something like originality. The band's debut, Beat Pyramid, mixes post-apocalyptic punk with the empty darkness of Joy Division, as well as dry wit and frantic bursts of experimental sound. The result keeps a foot in the past and a foot in the future.

The album's highlight, "Elvis," makes it clear up-front that it's about another Elvis — "Elvis / I wasn't talking 'bout that king / or hairdos" — before admitting, "It's confusing." By the time the band gets to its soaring chorus, the song has shifted into a search for meaning and connection to a higher power: "If there is a God / He will take me up."

Throughout "Elvis," sounds and ideas are crammed together frenetically, as the band interrupts itself and lets its sentences run into guitar riffs instead of a more logical conclusion. When These New Puritans' members do complete a thought, the sharp wordplay seems to signify everything at the same time, or nothing at all.

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Beat Pyramid

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Album
Beat Pyramid
Artist
These New Puritans
Label
Domino
Released
2008

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