NO DEVOTION- Permanence

Let’s get something out of the way quickly. No Devotion is the new band from old members of Lostprophets. 

Based on the ad campaign and the artwork here, that’s not something they want you to focus on, and to be fair, you almost certainly wouldn’t guess it simply by listening to ‘Permanence’. Just as the boys in the band have done everything possible to distance themselves from the horrific actions of their former frontman, it seems to me that they’ve pushed forward with a brand new sound too. 

‘Permanence’ has more in common with The Cure, New Order or Joy Division than anything that might have been called alternative rock in the last decade. There’s no pretence about it either. Opener ‘Break’ is built from waves of distorted guitar, warping, shimmering synths, crackling pop production, and the echoing, emotional vocals of erstwhile Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly. It might as well be called ‘Clean Break’. 

‘Permanent Sunlight’ is, befitting its name, a little brighter and cleaner and comes complete with plenty of “woah oh”s, ’10,000 Summers’ is lithe, lean, and absolutely massive all at the same time, and the insanely catchy ‘Stay’ feels like a cover of a new wave classic, the lyrics on the tip of your tongue on even your first listen.

Other tracks don’t make the same impact, but everything feels electric and alive and somehow not at all haunted. Against all odds, ‘Permanence’ is a bright new beginning from under the darkest shadow. Where No Devotion go from here could be very exciting indeed.

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