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New Order – Lost Sirens EP

When bassist and founding member of New Order Peter Hook acrimoniously quit the band in 2007, most people, including me, presumed that it was all over for the Manchunian group. Members had walked out before and came back but this time it seemed final. Stephen Morris told the press back in July 2011 that there was no future for the band, while frontman Bernard Sumner had formed a new group, Bad Lieutenant. And Hook’s very public and less than complimentary comments about Sumner in his recent memoir did not seem to hint at any sort of reconciliation being on the cards.

But New Order’s resilience has always been their defining feature. It was the death of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis that spurred the creation of New Order from the ashes of their previous band back in 1980.

Few people back then had any faith that the rest of the group would be able to continue without their talismanic frontman and principle songwriter. But they added Gillian Gilbert on keyboards and guitarist Sumner took over vocals. Just four years later they would go on to release the hugely influential hit ‘Blue Monday’ that revolutionized the way rock musicians used electronic instruments in their music. And thirty years later they’re still, unexpectedly, going strong. With Gilbert now back in the band after ten years away, along with original members Sumner and Stephen Morris, and Phillip Cunningham, New Order look set to go on for some time longer.

But the forthcoming Lost Sirens EP harks back to their last release with Peter Hook in the band, 2005’s Waiting for the Sirens’ Call. Indeed, according to Hooky, this release looks to “draw a line” under his split with the band. Reflecting a turbulent period in the band’s history, the release has been beset by problems. It was originally planned for release eighteen months after Sirens’ Call, but Hook’s departure and a copyright despute delayed the release. Now, finally, Lost Sirens is seeing the light of day.

The EP contains seven previously unreleased tracks – “I’ll Stay With You”, “Sugarcane”, “Recoil”, “Californian Grass”, “Shake It Up”, “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “I Told You So” as well as another song, “Hellbent”, which was featured on the Total compilation. The tracks were originally planned to be part of a double album released as part of Sirens’ Call, but when the recording sessions produced a few less tracks than discussed, a different approach was opted for.

Drummer Stephen Morris has said of the name “Lost Sirens? Well, it’s not really lost. I remember Martin Hannett once had an idea of making a record and burying it in a garden, so that one day someone would dig it up, like a time capsule. We just stuck our record in a cupboard. And now we’ve got it out.”

Lost Sirens will be released on January 14th 2013.

Tracklisting is as follows:

1. I’ll Stay with You (4.22)
2. Sugarcane (4.47)
3. Recoil (5.08)
4. Californian Grass (4.38)
5. Hellbent (4.28)
6. Shake it Up (5.21)
7. I’ve Got a Feeling (4.29)
8. I Told You So (5.05)

About Joe D.