Southend kids unleash seven-and-a-half-minute leviathan – somehow, we’re not impressed…
Alfred Soto: An army of vocal samples, an incessant hi-hat, and it’s 1983 again, when Trevor Horn ruled Britannia.
Pete Baran: I don’t know whether to mark up songs which seem to make effective use of my high end stereo set-up, or see them as the triumph of a blank consumer focused lifestyle. The full seven minutes twenty-three of “We Want War” does seem to want to consider its topic thoughtfully, potentially seeing the modern view of war as an almost cosy state of affairs that we have become resigned to. Fear of change may well equal fear of no war. Considered as an ambient through-thought, that almost works, though as a track it does seem unlovable.
Doug Robertson: I think they’ve confused “challenging” with “dull”.
Chuck Eddy: Spaced-out tribal-goth gurgle taking its time getting the proceedings started: Can imagine that in a sci-fi war movie, maybe one after the end of civilization where we’re back living in caves and battling each other with sticks and stones again. But the more the drumbeats get sublimated as the vocals assert their utter vagueness, the more amorphous and less compelling this gets.
Martin Skidmore: I’ve rarely cared for any rock that takes the adjective ‘art’, and this is no exception. Awkwardly jagged and edgy, with weak and tuneless vocals on top, it has plenty to invite analysis, but I can’t spot anything to cause fun or excitement or emotion, and it is twice the length it should be. If you wanted less tune and energy and more pretension from Sonic Youth, I guess they might be for you, but they aren’t for me.
Michaelangelo Matos: Isn’t the point of a single that you’ll want to return to it again and again? Not that it’s an endurance to make it through?
John Seroff: “We Want War” is an enjoyable lark of a military march for the XBox nation. There’s a pleasing lack of pretension; stomp-round-the-campfire clatter percussion and Poledouris-esque sweeping instrumentation with vocal choir offer a vision of a goofy and engaging prog landscape that wouldn’t be out of place in either Brütal Legend or the films of Jan Svankmajer. Based on this single, These New Puritans seem to be aiming for a less dire, less bazonkers stab at the combined aesthetics of The Knife and 3 Inches of Blood. Arty, cryptic, electrorchestral battle epics are hardly what I’d predict as the breakout genre niche for 2010 (“warcore”?), but I’ll happily carry the standard if this catches on.
Kat Stevens: Three minutes too long, but the mournful colliery brass band at the end is a fitting armistice to the grinding trench warfare. I’m crossing my fingers that the new Massive Attack album will sound like this, but with better vocals. Though it’ll probably still just be a big old stoned “oooo-eeee-ooo” mess, won’t it?