Not a big fan of the symbolic, but Peter Saville's cover art on this one damn near brings me to tears. Was he aware that this was the album that would free New Order from the melancholy sludge of Joy Division? Regardless, imagine first listening to this album when it came out in 1983, the second album released under the new moniker after the death of Ian Curtis. Logic points to more blackness and sulking, but "Age of Consent" explodes like an anti-bacterial salvo, a punk new wave pop explosion perfection. Fuck the Love Triangle, this is New Order at their best: quick live drums, Hook's walloping bass lines, the gouda synths, and Sumner's indifferent levity. "The Village" is a complete transformation into the pop-life spitting out unrepeatable love lyrics (but we eat it up). At a blink the band turns into the new wave, electro monster on the instrumental "Ecstasy." Sound familiar? Dip lifted it for his Trina blend. And what would an 80s album be without the artsy fart ballad? Do the robotnick to the moody "Your Silent Face." If Substance is your definition of New Order, checkout what many true fans call their favorite post-Joy Div album. 180g import pressing, recommended.
- 180g black vinyl pressing
- housed in original Peter Saville-designed packaging
- UK import
- music label: London Records 2015
reviewed by the mgmnt 10/2009