La Societe Nouvelle
With as much citation as the admittedly great Joy Division gets these days as an influence, it’s almost criminal how neglected its off-shoot New Order is by today’s trend-riding bands. After a couple years of dapper lads, dressed in black, backing a depressed crooner/croaker, it’s incredibly refreshing to hear Sweden’s The Kid open up with bursts of drum-programming and multi-layered keyboards and synths to compliment the visceral guitar stabs and taunt, ropey bass of post-punk. The despondency is obviously still there with song titles like “Suicide in Bruxelles,” “Head of Psychos” and “The Noble Art of Jealousy,” but the bubblegum flavor of the beats lends these songs to more dance floor enjoyment than moping commiseration. Helping matters are singers Mary-Anne Norsberg and Frida Sjostam, whose husky but sweet voices add another layer of separation from the rest of the Factory Records acolyte pack. The group even manages a tongue-in-cheek nod to Ian Curtis on “Part-Time Punks” when they lift the chorus vocal/guitar melody to “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” translate it to Swedish and insert it into a dubby sounding composition of their own. It’s a brash move for a new band, and certainly more refreshing than the litany of other bands outright plagiarizing of the Joy Division fake book.