New Order: New Album. Old School. All Good.

Do a Google search for “80s revival” and the sheer number of results is evidence enough that one is indeed underway. Musically, the style being revived isn’t the studio-production extravagance of Madonna or Toto. It’s all about New Wave, a term that’s been applied to so many bands since it was new that some confusion is natural. Initially a British phenomenon, it was either an evolution of punk or a move away from it, depending on who you ask. Production values, not to mention hair and makeup, were proudly slicker. In particular, keyboards provided bass lines, pads, and counterpoints to guitar, something unheard-of in punk. But the raw energy, sense of rebellion, and sometimes dark and emotional themes remained, albeit with a temper that was more brood and less brawl. With their hard rocking sound infiltrated by pulsing synths, mod heroes like The Bravery and The Killers can be seen as heading up a similar response to grunge and “alternative,” but all the music-mag genre-babble in t
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