New Order
Waiting For The Sirens' Call


Every dog, it seems, has its day. And, largely by dint of being lazy bastards (Waiting for the Sirens' Call is their second studio album since '91's largely rotten 'Republic'), New Order have been elevated to the status of Most Influential And Touched By A Genius We Can Barely Perceive Let Alone Understand Band Of All Eternal And Historic Time Ever. Well, this week anyway.

So, following 2001's patchy, unfocused, intermittently mesmeric 'Get Ready', this is the record that sees them ride triumphantly back into rock city on heroic donkey podia.

At least it would be if it wasn't, to put it politely, crap. Gillian Gilbert, her of the lush synthesizer washes and, it would now appear, quality control, has left the fold and The Other Three have pressed on regardless. Regardless, that is, of any big tunes, smart arrangements, innovation, suss, magic. Yeah, Bernard Sumner still has an ear for a dolefully jaunty melody, but 'WftSC' sounds like a particularly hungover New Order tribute band going through the motions. Where once there was shimmering guitars and choruses the size of Manchester, we now have pedestrian strummery and banal ploddage. And, in Sumner, we still have the singularly shitest lyricist since Natasha Bedingfield*. The title track's nice enough, I suppose, in a kinda second-rate-New-Ordery way, and opening gambit 'Who's Joe?' threatens, albeit briefly, to recapture the sparkle of precursory counterparts 'Crystal' and/or 'Regret', but this is one hour of three blokes with middle aged spread and one bloke (Phil Cunningham of actually-quite-underrated also ran Britpop lust-objects Marion) along for the credibility junket sighing 'will this do?' in non-committal unison. And the Gilbertless forays into techier, housier territories are so catastrophically off-beam that they sound like they were made by fortysomethings or maybe even fiftysomethings in leather trousers.

Which, in Peter Hook's case, they were.

Goodbye, New Order. Fuck off to the Macclesfield stud farm. Get fatter and reminisce. We don't need you or this complacent travesty of an album anymore.

Do we?

*This is a clever comment on the futility of chronology.

Matt Abysmal