What’s Going On. Pet Sounds. Loveless. All albums you’d want to hear the out-takes of. But Waiting for the Sirens’ Call? There are New Order albums for which you can imagine there being really strong lost tracks – Technique, Power, Corruption and Lies. Low-life. But Waiting for the Sirens’ Call? Really? But yes, Lost Sirens does actually exist. Not that the most recent (and last?) New Order album was as terrible as some people might have you believe but with so many producers on board – Stephen Street, Stuart Price, John Leckie – all who provided the band with very different moodscapes, and relations between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook at an all-time low, it was an album of mixed results. Unsurprisingly, Lost Sirens is a similarly unsatisfying record. It’s not that it’s terrible, but it passes by without much incident or excitement.
There are enjoyable moments (the ironic ode to loyalty, ‘I’ll Stay with You’ and the summer pop thrill of ‘Sugarcane’ ) and some rather painful ones (the cringe-inducing ‘Shake It Up’ and the bland Latin-MOR vibes of ‘Recoil). But at least Waiting… had some moments worthy of the New Order canon. Unfortunately, there is nothing here which will ever be worthy of a New Order Greatest Hits album, and certainly not ‘Hellbent’ which already featured on their most recent singles collection, Total. If this is the final encore from New Order, it’s clearly a mild fizzle of an exit. Six non-life changing new songs with a couple of reworked tracks certainly has a sense of barrel meeting scraper. And from a band worthy of scraping skies, one can’t help but feel underwhelmed.