These New Puritans “Infinity Ytinifny” (Track Review)


    Based on the few nervously vicious singles they’ve yet released, you’d be forgiven for not isolating the Wu-Tang Clan as a guiding influence for pasty British post-punks These New Puritans. So far they’ve been too twitchy and obtuse to avoid comparisons to top-of-your-head barkers like Liars or the Fall. But frontman Jack Barnett is fonder of namedropping Wu in interviews, and for at least a moment of his band’s impending Domino Records debut, Beat Pyramid, the worship nearly manifests musically. The palindromic "Infinity Ytinifny" defiantly puts rhythm first; its slowly dominant raw beat leaving no room for the expected choked guitar. The lyrics have a touch of hip-hop’s braggadocio as well, as Barnett repeatedly spits "infinity’s not as fast as me" while the backing synths dramatically swell. The similarities don’t extend to actual vocal delivery, though. His literate paranoia doesn’t come in a flow but in a series of sputtering blurts. That crucial difference makes the end result resemble nothing so much as a slightly altered recent history in which Mark E. Smith’s Von Sudenfed project ended up in the hands of creatures more ferocious than Mouse on Mars.