Section 25 Nature + Degree

Section 25 Nature + Degree
One of the staples of the Factory Records roster throughout its existence, Section 25 are another of those overshadowed bands whose true worth is only apparent as their albums have been reissued. Naturally, the band's mystique was also added to when they went on hiatus for more than a decade before re-emerging in 2001. Since then, they've played some highly praised live shows and also recorded new material. Nature + Degree is the second album by this incarnation of the band (their sixth total) and the first without long-time member Jenny Cassidy, who died in 2004. Her vocal duties were assumed by daughter Bethany, who provides a welcomed contrast to the gruffness of father Larry, who also sings. But really, it is business as usual for the band. It's hard to know if Nature + Degree is timeless or dated, fitting so closely with the rest of the Section 25 canon that it could have been released at any time during the band's existence. It stays true enough to the Factory ethos that "Garageland" could be a missing New Order classic, but loses a little of its momentum as the second half of the album progresses. While it isn't their best album, there are enough good moments to prove that Section 25 are still as relevant today as they ever were. (LTM)