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December 2019 / January 2020
Album review

These New Puritans - Inside The Rose

Direct and uncompromising, but full of possibility.
Label: Infectious Records
Released: 22nd March 2019
Rating: ★★★★
These New Puritans - Inside The Rose
Published: 9:48 am, March 18, 2019Words: Martyn Young.

All of These New Puritans’ album’s have been an immersive experience. 2008’s debut ‘Beat Pyramid’ was thrillingly propulsive while 2010’s ‘Hidden’ was filled with skyscraping ambition. Their last album, 2013’s ‘Field Of Reeds’, was their most subtle recording filled with ornate, almost classical beauty. Now, five years on, the Barnett brothers have returned with something darker, deeper and more intense than they’ve ever delivered before.

‘Inside The Rose’ is a reminder of These New Puritans position as one of our most inventive and compelling bands. Capable of mixing brutality with tender beauty, the brothers explore both ends of their musical spectrum, sometimes within the one song.

Insistent, rumbling industrial pop bangers like the hypnotic chimes of opener ‘Infinity Vibraphones’ and the drum-led ‘Anti-Gravity’ act as an abrasive counterpoint to the foreboding drama of slow-burning ballads like ‘Where The Trees Are On Fire’ and the dreamy ‘Beyond Black Suns’. Focusing more on Jack Barnett’s voice and its place within the melodies, it is the sound of These New Puritans returning to a ‘band’ format yet in their own distinct way.

The album is characterised by brooding darkness illuminated by just the right chink of light represented best by the slowly unfurling vistas of ‘A-R-P’ and the comforting church organs of closer ‘Six’. It’s an album that is direct and uncompromising, but full of possibility.

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