New Order’s 2001 album Get Ready was more than just a comeback – it set the template for pretty much every one of the band’s releases to follow. The formula goes something like this: they open with a banging track that makes you pump your fist in the air while shouting ‘Fuck yeah, New Order are BACK!’ and from there, they settle into pleasant-enough, somewhat indistinct indie pop. Throw in another banger to make sure you’re awake, and some familiar, awful Bernard Sumner lyrical clangers, and there you have it.
None of this is a bad thing – New Order are legends, and were right there leading the charge when dance music merged with indie rock, so they’re allowed to settle into a comfortable middle age. Lost Sirens isn’t exactly a new release – it consists of eight tracks, recorded around the time of Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, and featuring that album’s mixture of rousing guitars and gentle, unobtrusive electronic elements.
I’ll Stay With You opens things on a rousing note, with a dance floor-ready pulse that recalls Crystal or Here To Stay. It’s a short but satisfying buzz, and one that quickly dissipates as the mid-tempo tracks pile on. There are a few surprises to come. Sugarcane merges the disco sound of Peter Hook’s Monaco side project with dubbed-out guitar sounds, and adds some vintage New Order lyrical nonsense about stars riding in cars. For the most part, though, it’s elegant, sad ballads along the lines of Californian Grass and Recoil. Once again, that’s not a bad thing.
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN
Best Track: Sugarcane
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: MONACO, THE CURE, PET SHOP BOYS
In A Word: Gentle