8.25 out of 10
For a band that only formed 4 years ago having two full length albums, both with massive amounts of praise, is pretty exceptional. These New Puritans consists of twin brothers Jack (guitar/laptop) & George (drums) Barnett, Sophie Sliegh-Johnson (keyboards), and Thomas Hein (main sampler dude). When they started this project it was in the band's full intentions to play off the sounds of The Fall or Public Image Ltd. with a few electronic eccentricities added to the mix. I would say that if that was indeed their intention they succeeded and then some. "Hidden" is the band's second full length, and oh my f^%*ing god is bloody brilliant! Seriously! How can this only be the band's second full length? "Hidden" has such a developed sound. There were no shortcuts taken with this album, the amount of production (co-produced by Graham Sutton of Bark Psychosis) and instruments (taiko drums the size of a compact car, brass and wind orchestrations, children's choirs, etc.) used to create this opus is truly inspiring.
The thing that may catch you off guard when first listening to "Hidden" is the terrific use of Jazz and Classical compositions used in between each experimental "Industrial World-Punk" track. Actually it's hard to believe that really any instrument was forgotten when recording this album, it's THAT full and rich sounding. The moments where the children's choir poke their frightened little heads out to expand the melody even more gives me goosebumps. If Nothing Records was still around this album would fit perfectly on that label. I mean to call it an"Industrial" album may be cutting it a little short, but there are definitely moments through out that remind me of Einsturzende Neubauten as well as Pop Will Eat Itself. I can't find a single thing wrong with this album for the most part. I love the use of angsty Punk vocals speaking their way through epic walls of orchestrations and monster sized drumming, I love the use of wind instruments, I like that it's sometimes Jazzy, and I really can't say this enough THE DRUMMING is soooo good. Either you're being too picky, you're not in the mood, or you just don't like good music if you can't get into this.
One of my favorites of 2010, look for it on my year-end list. I seriously can't get enough of this right now. HIHIHIHIHIGHLY RECOMMMMENDED..
Standout Tracks: We Want War, Three Thousand, Attack Music, Fire-Power (reminds me of Liars), Drum Courts - Where Corals Lie