Weirdo is one of my favourite tracks on the ‘rock side’ of Brotherhood, and possibly one of my favourite in New Order’s ‘rock’ catalogue. From its instantaneous stereo-panning jangle intro, to its long fadeout at the end, Weirdo features some really wonderful guitar work, including standout bass play from Hooky and Sumner’s high-end, melodic chiming guitar which nearly bends into discord against the bass – but to glorious effect. Dare I say it: Sumner was giving Johnny Marr a serious run for his indie-guitar-cred money in 1986… The whole track is driven by a drum performance by Morris that recalls classic Joy Division speed and power.
Sumner’s in fine form vocally as well; sounding more and more confident (i.e less frail and tentative than times gone by), with an honest and emotive delivery at the classic high-end of his range, complete with requisite ‘oohs’. The ‘just like’ chorus lines are great to sing along with, and the mix of the backing ‘just like… just like the ocean’ – so subtly pitched off the main chorus – is perfect; much better than preceding tracks with backing vox (e.g. Shame of the Nation).
Solid and wonderful leftfield indie rock.
DR: sorry for the delays in reviewing. Hook’s ‘Inside New Order’ book threw me off kilter – and not for enjoyment reasons. There’s a line in Weirdo that seems entirely appropriate: ‘someone like you can not be free’… I hope that time will heal all wounds.
Available on: Brotherhood