M/V L/P: Attack Music (These New Puritans, 2010) March 30, 2010Posted by Richard Bolisay in Music, Music Videos.
Every These New Puritans video is clad in black. The British band seems to toy with the idea of darkness and intimacy, filling the screen with close-ups and extreme close-ups of faces and bodies moving in obscurity. The videos for “Elvis” and “Swords of Truth” from their first record, Beat Pyramid, highlight that; so as the equally epic video for “We Want War” from their recent album, Hidden. “Attack Music”, their second single, has just been released by Domino Records, and the video that accompanies it turns out to be an exciting feast—clad in black still, but suits the song very, very well—considering that the track is by far the most impressive in the record.
Of course, more often than not, for a video to be good, like a simple rule of thumb, the song has to be better. The song provides the idea; the video executes it. The two work together; people buy the album; and the band gets more chance to record music. “Attack Music” is one polished work, replete with beats that leave an impression of gloom and movement. It’s almost wounding—the sound of cooing, of swords unsheathing, of knives tapering, of drums going crazy, and of vocals being barked in an abyss—that it feels more like a dance ritual than a simple rock track, the idea of dance that requires the closest contact, an intimacy conveyed in a most discreet way.
It’s the sight of skin—in black, brown, and white—that turns the heat up. Bodies move alone, together, in slow and rapid cadence, and identify with the song’s beat. Interspersed with vocalist Jack Barnett singing, the images of twisting bodies captivate as much as they urge to be imitated. The dance is far from unusual, but the way These New Puritans have done it in the past, the darkness reveals a more interesting world aside from evil; that is, movement. A peek of these dancers’ armpits, nipples, swinging hairs, and tattoos—from dusky to light—only brings one’s interest closer, only to find out that the song has to end. These New Puritans cherish one beat too many, running rhythms that are far from idyllic, that their complex stunts cut so much that the listener has to nurse the wounds first. But one big love worth wounding “Attack Music” is.