The title of this song is apropos to how I feel about Doubts Even Here.
On the one hand the minimal, quiet feel to (most of) the song is another successful exercise in ‘less is more’ from New Order circa 1981, and Hooky’s vocals work better here than Bernard would if he was singing it. The song starts with a recall of the chirping percussion from Truth, but this quickly fades into the dark repeating 3-chord synth motif, with some nice bass work and some minimal guitar sounding like chimes in the distance. Hannett has also held back on electronics overkill, with only the occasional thunderclap to provoke the listener out of their hypnotic state. All good.
Its after the 3rd verse, when the song changes tone and gains momentum to its conclusion, that I begin to disconnect with it. The song becomes less melodic, rolling mainly around a single note that Hooky’s bass (and his preacher-like vocal) holds manically onto, and – although its great to have her featured in a song – Gillian’s spoken word backing is hard to make out, and might have worked better on its own; i.e a spoken word-only closing to the track. I expect to get some interesting feedback on this point, but it feels a bit like careening downhill in an out-of-control vehicle accompanied by an unhinged couple. At night.
Doubts Even Here disappeared from the band’s live set after only a handful of outings in 1981, and it wasn’t recorded for any radio performances. Overall this is one of the less remarkable tracks on Movement, and perhaps should have found its home as a curious B-side.
Original version currently available on: Movement