Section 25 \ Nature + Degree [LTMCD 2536]
The sixth studio album from the cult Factory Records group. Nature + Degree was self-produced in 2009 and was the first to feature new members Stuart Hill and Steven Stringer. Founder members Larry and Vin Cassidy are also joined by Beth Cassidy, whose vocal style recalls that of her late mother Jenny on From The Hip and Love & Hate. Stand-out tracks include Garageland, Singularity, Remembrance, and Saddled With Something - the latter burnished by a string quartet. The cover art references a design from 1933 by Alfredo Cavadini.
1. Pop Idol I
5. L'Arte du Math
7. Saddled With Something
8. Forty Days
9. One Way or Another
12. Pop Idol II
Available on CD and download.
"All Factory groups now have a cult following and Section 25 have done more than many to deserve it. The electronic pop rock sound is no longer novel, but on their second album of new material since 2007 the group turn in an album that's straightforward, sincere and musically ebulliant" (The Wire, 08/2009)
"The natural follow-up to their 2007 album, yet still recalling the Factory legacy" (Brainwashed, 07/2009)
"Suddenly SXXV have discovered beauty all over again and have made an electronic-flavoured album without forgetting the intensity that put them where they are today - in a lot of people's hearts. Listen to the backhanded self-punishment displayed on L'Arte Du Math and you will see what I mean - it is probably the only song that sits with New Order's lyrical approach. Garageland is another bloody fine synth-hook song that would make a great single. Saddled With Something shows a plaintive side and an ear for production many bands would sell their bodies for - chuck some strings in and I'm hooked every time. Thing is, it works here. I really rate this album - they can never reach the heights achieved with the utterly tear-duct tickling From The Hip but this is genuinely their best since" (AllGigs.com, 06/2009)
"Nature + Degree is a remarkably fresh-sounding set of songs. Indeed, Remembrance, Attachment and the supremely catchy L’Arte Du Math are as pop as Section 25 have ever got. Garageland is dignified and melancholic, One Way or Another is three minutes of controlled anger, whilst the rough edges of Larry Cassidy’s tongue are smoothed over by a beautiful string section for Saddled With Something. Mirror is the definite standout for me though; a very unusual and cleverly-constructed song which cleverly mixes Beth Cassidy’s narrative with her own harmonies. After New Order’s hugely disappointing last album, Section 25 have shown it is possible for Factory veterans to create something relevant and addictive for the modern age" (Leonard's Lair, 06/2009)
"Another strong album proving that the success of Part-Primitiv was no fluke" (Bullmoose, 08/2009)
"Enough good moments to prove that Section 25 are still as relevant today as they ever were" (Exclaim! 08/2009)
"Instead of the past this looks straight to the future - impossible not to love the voice of Bethany Cassidy" (Erba Della Strega, 11/2009)