It takes a lot of balls to name your band with a reference to The Fall. These New Puritans (apparently abbreviated to TNPS, though I prefer the simpler ‘Turnips’) have done just that and after they were featured in the Guardian the other day, I thought I’d check them out. You know, see whether they live up to their name.
The answer is: no, they don’t. They’re basically a mixture of Franz Ferdinand and The Klaxons – and not the best bits of either band, for that matter. I’ve been intrigued by several newspapers and websites referring to them as actually sounding like The Fall. I figure this was more lazy journalism than impossible fantasy: These New Puritans have nothing of Mark E. Smith’s vitriolic wit or poetry, let alone a proper-sounding jangly guitar. In Numbers, the lyrics go “What’s your favourite number? / What does it mean? / Number 1: the individual / Number 2: duality / Number 3: …numerology is all shit”. Talking about the song, lead singer Jack Barnett says, “It’s our attempt to recreate numerology in a song. It’s a pop song with a dubby beat. But I say “numerology is all shit”, so it’s all deconstructed immediately”. Hmmm.
Anyway, here’s Elvis, another of their songs.
New-ish records I have been listening to recently:
The Howling Hex – You Can’t Beat Tomorrow
This is Neil Hagerty’s latest album and a sort-of follow up to All Night Fox. he kept the band name this time, but the music is completely different. He’s added some odd syncopated electronic percussion and more acoustic guitar than in All Night Fox. Certainly he seems to be going for a sound that resembles listening to a band from outside the Hall. Favourite tracks: Apache Energy Plan (this is a theme continuing on from earlier Neil Michael Hagerty albums, but I still don’t know what it means); You Can’t Beat Tomorrow; No Numbers.
1 out of 1 – Buy Here Download ‘Apache Energy plan’ from Drag City here.
The Fall – Fall Heads Roll
I really like this album. Mark E Smith sounds a bit more like Shaun Ryder than he used to, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he’s managed to produce a tight, thumping album. Out of ‘new Fall’ records, this is one of the best. The big single: I Can hear The Grass Grow is pretty melodic, but then it’s a cover. Actually, the version I have on my Complete Peel Sessions is markedly better. Anyway, both of these albums are perfect listening for the fade to winter: they inject a little bit of summer into every listen. But just a tad.
1 out of 1 – Buy Here