Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark will release a new album entitled History Of Modern on October 4.
Time hasn’t been too kind of OMD’s reputation; these days they’re one of the less cherished icons of Britain’s original, Ballard-drunk synth-pop set, certainly compared to the oft-venerated John Foxx and The Human League. Though Andy McCluskey’s doleful vocals have always divided listeners, it’s fair to say that the Liverpool outfit released at least one classic album: 1981’s surging, sentimental and deservedly mega-selling Architecture & Morality. That LP, together with a few choice singles and B-sides like the wonderful ‘I Betray My Friends’, was a key influence on the 80s synth-wave explosion documented on this year’s The Minimal Wave Tapes and Cold Waves & Minimal Electronics Vol.1 compilations); they also inspired The Killers, but let’s gloss over that less savoury fact.
Though often held up by critics as an bold, experimental masterpiece, OMD’s severely shonky Dazzle Ships (1983) was a commercial suicide from which the band never really recovered (Bob Stanley describes the decline in this article from a couple of years back), and it’s fair to say that nothing they’ve released in the intervening 27 years has lived up to the perfectly-pitched pop pomp of Architecture & Morality. McCluskey tacitly acknowledges this in his inevitable claim that the OMD’s new album, History Of Modern, is their best album since, yes, Architecture & Morality. Billed as a return to the band’s electronic roots, it was mixed by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Blood Red Shoes) and is being released through 100% Records.
The band will be touring the UK and Europe in support of the album; more info and tickets here.