The story of Lost Sirens – the first NEW ORDER release with entire new material in eight years – is an intense one. It’s the story of a broken bound within the group, of reproaches, bitterness and rebirth during the time since these songs originally were recorded. Each one of these songs was produced during the sessions for Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, the final studioalbum by the band in 2005. In the aftermaths of its release bassist Peter Hook left the band in an act of irregular frustration, a public feud between the members appeared and NEW ORDER vanished in 2007 – with a huge gap especially between Hook and frontman Bernard Sumner. Three decades after they founded as influential post-punk heroes JOY DIVISION it really looked like the inglorious end of a once great institution in popular music.
In the meantime Sumner founded BAD LIEUTENANT – a new group with the remaining band members – while Hook was busy ranting about the past in public while still living from it with a lot of reissues and tribute shows where he performed the music by JOY DIVISION and NEW ORDER with other artists. Kind of ironic that it was him who prevented Lost Sirens from being published in the past. But it looks like every side has calmed down a bot by now and is ready to release this left-overs to the world on January the 14th.
Although every listener got certain expectations on the first new material by the band in ages one thing has to be made clear from the very beginning – these eight songs are all rejections from the recording sessions. Material that didn’t fit on the album, maybe because it sounded different but also because it was to poor in terms of quality. It basicly works as a reminder of the former greatness and quality of NEW ORDER, not as a solid album. Within the first seconds into opener I’ll Stay With You it feels like their departure never happened. Everything is at the right place – Stephen Morris’ precise drumplay, the soft wave guitars, Hook’s unique bass playing and the still not perfect but comforting voice of Sumner. The special new wave power, the combination of rock, pop and electronics this group once defined in the 1980s. It’s probably the best song on this EP.
The other tracks are nice as well, may it be Sugarcrane and Shake It Up with their simple dance beats or the more melodic ones like the really wonderful Californian Grass or the powerful Hellbent – which has already been released two years ago on a Best-of-album by the group. Of course, with the exception of maybe two tracks most of songs wouldn’t have fit on Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, some are just too poor for NEW ORDER‘s former quality level. Lost Sirens feels like a warm welcome of a good old friend you haven’t seen in a while but to which you connect instantly once he enters the door. And maybe that’s the best this release can do. And who knows – maybe this is not the end at all. NEW ORDER reunited for a world wide tour in 2012 and Sumner already hinted that they are actually interested in recording new material. Well, all without Hook, of course. Who ever thought it could get as excited as this again for these guys.
NEW ORDER on NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION