When I was high school, I discovered Lostprophets. I bought The Fake Sound of Progress in 9th grade and loved it. As I got older, I would drive my mom’s station wagon and a hook up my portable CD player to the tape deck and bring along several CD’s when I would head out to hang with friends. I always had the following albums.
Now that I have shown my age, let me take you further forward in time. It was during my senior year of high school that I saw the film 24 Hour Party People which was about the Manchester music scene from the days of punk, post-punk, house and new wave. The film was centered on a man, Tony Wilson, who was pivotal with his Factory Records artists; one in particular to me was Joy Division. The first Joy Division song I ever heard was actually a cover, NIN covered Dead Souls for the The Crow soundtrack. In 2003, I went to NYC and visited CBGB’s, Trash and Vaudeville, and several stores in the Bowery and came upon a record store where I picked up my first Joy Division compilation, Permanent. I listened to that CD to the point of burning it out and not playing anymore. I discovered that all of the bands I like have called Joy Division a major influence.
It’s pretty easy to liken one band to another. The Silversun Pickups received a lot of attention and were called the new incarnation of The Smashing Pumpkins. That’s an unfair correlation and statement to make for both bands, and it would be unfair for me to make the assumption that No Devotion is the new Joy Division. I am pretty sure Interpol has also heard enough of that as well.
No Devotion is a new group, forming from the ashes of both Lostprophets and Thursday. Thursday frontman and New Jersey native Geoff Rickly and the remaining members of Lostprophets were going to produce new music under his label, Collect Records. He cited that the new material is influenced by bands like Joy Division, New Order and The Cure.
As a designer and a fan, I look at what No Devotion is doing and think they are going to have a long, illustrious career. The reason I believe that is because, as a band, they understand their image and what it says about them, and how it evokes fans. A No Devotion show is a branded experience; careful consideration on lightning, song list, and dress all evoke a sense of mystery, emotion and catharsis. Few bands can truly carry out that experience live, save Metallica and AFI in my opinion.
From a visual aesthetic perspective, the album artwork also evokes the same feelings of emotion. There is a bleak hope in the lit letters above the building. While I have never been to Wales, I have been to New Jersey many and reminiscent of past Thursday albums, there is a feeling of small hope inside the blue collar worker. The world can leave your heart desolate and there is a tinge of that desolation in their music, along with a growing sensual attitude in that darkness.
With the release of Permanence, the band has steadily grown fans from Thursday and Lostprophet camps as well as garnering new fans and older fans who helped shape the genre of music they are in now. As a fan myself, I listen to Permanence in my car and I get those feelings I did back when I was listening to music in my mom’s station wagon and when I picked up my first Joy Division album. This rumbling feeling in my chest that tells me “This, this is what you are about”. Maybe I am getting older and more discerning/grouchy but I find it hard to discover music that gives me that feeling. Thanks to No Devotion, I will happily be taking my commute from the office to home with tunes that make me feel alive.