Lost Sirens, New Order’s long-awaited release of unused tracks from 2005′s Waiting For The Siren’s Call is finally here. Was it worth the wait?
The members of New Order have been busy bees; the band recently toured the U.S. (which I was lucky enough to see), and former bassist and band co-founder Peter Hook has toured doing his version of the band’s catalogue as well as writing a book about his time in Joy Division, New Order’s previous incarnation.
Hook left the band on bad terms, which is one of many reasons keeping this release of rarities in limbo.
But now it’s here; the final statement of Hook’s tenure. So how does it sound?
Well it’s cut from the same cloth of the more laid-back New Order sound that has existed ever since 1993′s Republic.
“I’ll Stay With You” kicks it off, and sounds like a more laconic version of 2001′s “Crystal”, with the trademark interplay of Bernard Sumner’s sandpaper guitar and Hook’s melodic bass-work.
“Sugarcane’s” funky feel sounds a tad like Sumner’s side project Electronic. Very poppy and bright, but a tad forgettable.
The melancholy feel of “Recoil” is more satisfying, driven by an insistent piano motif.
“Californian Grass” is both gorgeous and goofy, but shows’ what’s been the weakest aspect of New Order in recent years; blasé lyrics which seem more concerned with (predictable) rhyming rather than being evocative or profound. Example: “Give me all that I ask/some Californian Grass/bring it over to me/I want everything that I see/we can stop at a grocery store,/by a drink for a few dollars more“. Meh.
“HellBent” is one of the best tunes on the album, with a bit of grit to match the gleam, with some nice guitar squalls from Sumner.
“Shake It Up“is classic synth-driven dance music, grooving and infectious.
The most interesting track is “I Told You So” which closes the album. The riff and percussion seem very influenced by the Velvet Underground’s ‘Venus In Furs‘, with a strong narcotic guitar drone that lulls you into a hazy spell.
As a final foot note (unless Hook and Sumner mend fences) ‘Lost Sirens‘ is enjoyable but not essential. But die-hard fans will get a kick out of it, warts and all.
The current band featuring new bassist Tom Chapman will begin working on a new album this year. After seeing their energetic live performance I have high hopes that the band can continue, even without Hook’s massive sonic imprint.
Want to pick up/preview New Order’s Lost Sirens? Check out the iTunes playlist or Amazon link below.