These New Puritans - Hidden

Heralded as a masterpiece upon its release in 2005, Liars' Drum's Not Dead often finds itself in a laundry list of esoteric influences for any number of young pretenders to namecheck in interviews and to replicate on record - but in These New Puritans' Hidden, we may have found the rightful heir. Forever dogged by unfavourable comparisons to The Fall, These New Puritans have (almost entirely) ditched the guitars, and created the album we never knew they had in them. Pounding, thrumming and pulsing from beginning to end (save for some beautifully sedate arrangements from a brass and woodwind ensemble), Hidden employs bass and percussion like indigenous drums of war, striking fear into the heart of man. On Where Corals Lie, Jack Barnett's alternately welcoming and menacing articulation (somewhere between Gang of Four’s Jon King and Medúlla-period Björk) reinforces the album's ambitious dichotomy of ideas that, unlike the underwhelming debut, does not suffer from lack of focus.