These New Puritans, 'Hidden' (Domino)

Critical Mass
Label: Domino

by Jon Young

So over the top you have to laugh in amazement, the audacious second album from this English foursome is an unholy fusion of fractured hip-hop textures and art-pop decoration (somber brass, children's choir). Absurdly solemn frontman Jack Barnett slings murky images of destruction and doom, muttering, "Can't you see them floating like black ash?" in "We Want War." Hidden would be unbearably pretentious if Barnett and crew didn't execute their mission with such wild-eyed determination. Instead, it's a chilling thrill.


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