Thursday, 14 January 2010

New New Order... or Bad Lieutenant make an album

Here's a review from a while back...

Okay. What we have here is the new project from New Order's Bernard Sumner. This new grooop is called Bad Lieutenant and the album is called 'Never Cry Another Tear'. If my suspicions are right, this could be a very short review.

Right. First off, let's get the review out of the way for the New Order nuts out there who like everything they've done. Yes, this LP sounds pretty much like a New Order album. 'Sink or Swim', the first single sounds like it could have been on 'Republic'. Okay? Now go away. We've got a proper review to be getting on with.

"1993 was a special time for me..."

There's always been something kinda charming about Barney's rubbish lyrics. Famous New Order hits have pretty much been unified by his almost childlike approach to writing. Things haven't changed one bit... he sings, without any trace of irony "I'm gonna take you higher" and "I can't come back so hit the road, Jack". One of the most telling lines is the one in bold, above. I mean, c'mon.

Anyway, this LP ain't so much a new lease of life for Sumner... no no no... this is a proper new project. This isn't like those Electronic records he made with Johnny Marr whilst New Order members were all scowling at each other for the millionth time. This is a clean break, which effectively means writing songs that sound like New Order with some Doves thrown in for good measure.

If Sumner is covering the New Order angle (and let us be honest with each other here... Bernard is still the best New Order style vocalist on the planet) then new singer and writer, Jake Evans, who contributes to the LP in spades, is bringing the sound of Doves. Basically, he sounds just like Doves singer Jimi Goodwin.

Both of these ingredients will invariably thrill those Mancunians who are obsessive about the music made in the city by white men and their guitars. There's a grey cloud that hangs over Manchester in the form of Factory records and The Stone Roses. Sure, there's a whole host of great music that emanated from those two seismic points... but it's clear that there are many who refuse to let their icy grip go of those days, brought about by an intense, borrowed nostalgia that is believed so much that the lies have turned into truth.

This LP, while a perfectly reasonable listen, cements the view that Manchester is still stuck in the early '90s. Even Doves, who arrived long after that, had their feet firmly stuck in the comedown fug of the Roses at their gloomiest/ethereal [delete as applicable] and, let us not forget... they were making music as Sub Sub back then.

Fact is, this LP is a middle aged Madcunian's wet-dream. It ticks a revivalists boxes at every turn and sure, you can argue that segments sound a bit more modern and forward thinking... but the thought that those more progressive moments should be brought with a realisation that it is in fact, borrowing heavily from more recent Chemical Brothers LPs, who funnily enough, were in Manchester in the early '90s as students.

The sound of '90s Manchester is preprogrammed into the DNA of 90% of the music that emerges from the M60, which in the case of Bernard Sumner, you can't really expect anything else as he's a man who actually was in there, way back when, in a very entertaining and, at times, innovative band or two. However, if you're looking for something new and fresh, you won't find it here. By virtue of the fact that you're interested in a new Bernard Sumner LP it's more than likely that you're not looking for something new and exciting.

Fair enough... I just think Manchester has more to offer than this LP


  1. At least Bernard never gets caught raising dead corpses - he just gets on with his next project. Whereas the bass viking just keeps on with his dull ranting or reliving past glories. You can't put both of these chaps in the same hole.

  2. You are right there. Much as it pains us, it seems Hooky is currently working on some ''88 classic house' to release through Hacienda records - we wish he'd stop being such an easy target.