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These New Puritans and a Clash of Ideas

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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Copyright 2008 KEXP

John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at kexp.org. He is also KEXP's assistant program director.
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