Nearly 40 years since they formed and still going strong
Andy Hughes

13:24 7th September 2017

Still one of the most beautifully named bands ever – OMD transcend trends, they are never out because they were never in. Mr McCluskey and Mr Humphreys created an entire identity occupied only by a very few others – machine-made music coupled with heart-felt vocals. It worked back in 1978, it’s still working now.

It’s a mixed collection of songs, nothing that doesn’t deserve to be here, but perhaps not enough to be as strong as they should be. 'Robot Man' deserved a more inventive melody to underline its emotional message, and 'Art Eats Art' is maybe a little too clever for its own good.

But the targets are hit more than missed – 'Kiss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Bang' would fit easily with any of the band’s strongest work, and it demonstrates that Andy McCluskey’s voice is utterly ageless and constant.

The band still have a sure and certain touch with a love song – 'One More Time' positively shines with sincerity and feeling, and their musical inventiveness remains, using gunfire and military drums as electronic punctuation in 'La Mitrailleuse' (it’s French for machine gun) makes an eerie point with its futuristic mantra lyric.

The best is saved for last – unfailingly optimistic music sits with a bleak and sad story, and this is what Orchestral Manoeuvres have always done so well. If there is a ‘signature’ song for the new record, then 'The View From Here' is the one.

There is a legion of old fans who will enjoy finding that their heroes have not lost their skill and invention, and a new generation who can discover that many a good tune is played on an old synthesiser. Wonder where Radiohead, Spoons, and Nine Inch Nails came from? They came from here.

Photo: Press