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New Order as we know it are no more, with Peter Hook bowing out a few years back, but they’re still operating as a live unit without him and here they scrape the bottom of their Hooky barrel with a mini-album of eight songs which didn’t make it onto 2005’s ‘Waiting For The Siren’s Call’.
There are a few moments where their class shines through but by and large it’s a collection of flabby sub-Pet Shop Boys synthpop which meanders gormlessly and rarely seems to even try to impress. The New Order faithful will probably find a gem or two on here (‘Californian Grass’ is a surprisingly effective summer stoner number with chiming guitars, a bouncily understated drum groove and a tasty bit of fuzz at the end, possibly good enough to be one of those extra songs bands put on greatest hits records to make you buy them) but for the most part it’s a once-great band playing turgid radio nothingness that reminds me of Sting and Dire Straits.
8/10 Glenn Customer review, 2nd March 2013
I know I should review the album rather than the staff review but..... There is a rather cynical application of semiotics used! To be fair, and duly noted, this is a selection of songs that didn't make it onto an LP from 2005, though some of them should have. I'm not sure that the contents should be viewed as a portent of a moribund band, especially when the recent reworking of old songs at last year's concerts betrayed creative restlessness. Even so I've Got a Feeling, Hellbent, California Grass, Shake it Up and I Told You So are great tracks. The latter is up there with anything they've done and harks back to Velvet Underground influence of early material. My money is on a new LP next year that will vibrate with the enmity stored up from the public tongue lashings from Peter Hook. As Bobby Gillespie said "hate will eat you whole" but revenge can be sweet.
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