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These New Puritans Barrel into Chicago

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 12, 2008 7:18PM

These New Puritans play in Chicago June 15It's really hard to encapsulate what England's These New Puritans are all about. Stylistically they don't really adhere to one recognizable genre or another, and to be honest the first time we listened to their album, Beat Pyramid, it gave us a bit of aural vertigo. All of this intrigued us further and tempted us to go back again and again to unpack the album's contents and make sense of it.

The simplest way to describe the band is as another group of art damaged dance punks, so spit that out if someone asks you for a 1-second evaluation. The expanded version is far more interesting though, as the bands buzzwire guitars create a familiar sonic backing until the rest of the group starts reconstructing and fragmenting the drums, and toss odd samples and trumpeting keyboards around to create the equivalent of a jumbled double-decker bus crashing down a cobblestone road at 50-MPH.

Almost none of the songs break the three-minute mark, and this economy serves the band well. While we enjoy the cyclonic songs, there's only so much the brain can process at a time. The album also has brief ambient interludes punctuated by processed tape loops that also help give the listener a breather. We're curious to see how the band's live show is structured, though, when they play Subterranean this Saturday. Will they attack the crowd at non-stop breakneck speed, or will they keep bringing folks to the brink only to pull back for a second and prolong the pleasure?

These New Puritans plays this Saturday, June 15, at Subterranean, 2011 W North, $14, 17+

Photo from the band's MySpace page