A musical Fin de siècle. Young mystics and chanters let the eternal beat run through them for twelve minutes, and rock and roll finally leaves the 20th century…
Forget the Dior Homme associations (it was originally a ‘collaboration’ for their, ironically, Fall catalogue): this is terminally unfashionable. Reliant on basic riffs and primal rhythms, it’s hypnotic; like staring at a piece of blank paper until the white burns. And as vocals whispering somewhere from the ether and snares like rolling thunder align to your heartbeat and refuse release, you know this is the comedown we’ve all been waiting years for.
Yet it’s not the music itself, nor the band’s elegance with industry that sets them apart; it’s their vision. Willfully dense and difficult, ‘Navigate, Navigate’ tries to say everything at once because they have no reason to believe they can do otherwise; rendering them inarticulate by their own exuberance. Until they choke on a restraining leash of their own creation there’s nothing holding back These New Puritans but themselves.
And as such, this is a pyrrhic review. Nothing can be said about ‘Navigate, Navigate’ that, through rhythm and melody, they haven’t already said themselves.
So listen up, kids. Like the last days of Rome, ‘new rave’ will fall. The dancefloor will not hold. Day-glo hedonism, drug ‘n’ club demolition; everything will collapse. Nothing of substance will remain; nothing of substance having ever been consumed.
Permanence, it would seem, is in the hands of These New Puritans.
9Tom King's Score