Apparently these recordings hark back to the same sessions as 2005’s ‘Waiting For The Sirens Call‘, when Peter Hook was still within the ranks of New Order. ‘Lost Sirens‘ consists of eight songs disregarded until now! But why now, so they can be free of Mr Hook? There’s no new material around yet and the band’s currently on tour maybe? Once a new album by them was an event, as was a concert, neither now seem as true any more.
‘I’ll Stay With You‘ is the opening number and relies on Barney’s vocals very clear in the mix, it’s quite a commercial sounding track. “I’ll stick with you, until hell freezes over” is a line which lingers on the mind do they mean literally? Next we get ‘Sugarcane‘, which is even more accessible with such a catchy chorus. It’s light and breezy throughout, where have those heavy bass-lines disappeared to? ‘Recoil‘ certainly caught me out though, as this is a ballad that I could imagine Andy Williams singing around a lounge bar’s piano. This is enhanced with its melodic tambourine sound. Some normal composure is restored with ‘Californian Grass‘ where the guitar and real drum sounds takes over again. Barney sings “..don’t throw this chance away” and they certainly don’t. Even Hooky’s bass rears its head towards the end of this song which makes it a saving grace in the eleventh hour.
‘Hellbent‘ is not new as this appeared on a recent compilation album and is by far the best track on this disc. It’s a caged monster that’s wants to remind you they could write the occasional master-piece. A more brutal sound returns with the disco-tinged ‘Shake It Up‘ that growls when they sing its title over and over again. The song does come alive in the second half with more optimistic vocals. “…but the words inside in my head they don’t tell no lies” starts the lyrics to ‘I’ve Got A Feeling‘ and breaks into a funky beat and sing-along chorus. The final track ‘I Told You So‘ is a song led by Stephen Morris‘ big bass drum mixed with a sound that’s a tinge similar to that of the Velvet’s ‘Venus In Furs‘. As it reaches its climax this song has changed shape and become a symphony.
Well it’s all been played and now I’m wondering why did they wait so long to release this album. Far from it being just out-takes, these are eight full songs. Though maybe not at the same level as their early works these are still New Order’s work. I had been prepared to be all negative about this album, but after each track my resistance was broken down to accepting it as a long-lost relative. 7/10.