The problem when your favourite band comes back after a few years on the sidelines is that you're worried that they won't be as good as they used to be. Those doubts become particularly pronounced when those band members have been involved in some projects of their own that have been of doubtful quality.
So, fresh back from duties on projects varying from **Electronic** to **The Other Two** to **Monaco** to guest vocal duties on **Chemical Brothers** tracks, **New Order** return with their first single for seven years. It's called Crystal, and ladies and gentleman, it's fantastic.
There's a cosy familiarity in the sound of Peter Hook's bass and the machinations of Barney Sumner's voice that makes me feel happy with the musical world. And despite the fact that this track contains a noisier element than the most recent **New Order** material, those familiarities have not been dampened.
Unlike with many of **New Order's** tracks, Crystal does not need several listens to persuade you of its quality. It is a confident, strutting return of a band that knows that the music industry has missed it, and is willing to do something about it.
Anthony H Wilson's recent cry for help to the Manchester music scene to pull British music out of its slump has been answered by young upstarts like **Elbow, Doves, Badly Drawn Boy, and Mint Royale** amongst others.
And now the skipper of the team will seal the deal.
9Steve Grzesiak's Score