These New Puritans - Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 4 Feb 2010 (4 stars)

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These New Puritans - Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 4 Feb 2010

Puritanical? Maybe. This Southend-On-Sea quartet certainly give the impression they aren’t here to compromise, play the game or do what they’re told in order to eke out a little more media coverage, and we can only appreciate them for it. Jack Barnett shouts the lyrics of every song like it’s the next instalment in his manifesto, his brother George hides behind his drums in the background, and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson and Thomas Hein prod away at keyboards and samplers like they’d rather be at the bar. They’ve got that winning rock star insouciance down to a fine art.

And they’ve got some great songs too, which benefit from not being entirely honed to perfection in their live incarnations. Alongside the mechanical grind of ‘Numbers’ and the minimal bass thump of ‘Hologram’ sit the implicitly confrontational ‘We Want War’ and ‘Attack Music’. Although this bunch aren’t in the same league as either yet, the music and their confrontation-baiting approach brings to mind Throbbing Gristle or early Fall. The set’s mostly drawn from the new, Domino-released album Hidden, but the mighty ‘Elvis’ still stands out as this fine group’s most attention-grabbing contribution so far.

Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 4 Feb

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