Depeche Mode

Closing in on 40 years together, Essex trio Depeche Mode are in a rather bleak and gloomy mood on their 14th album. It’s not unfair to say that veteran synth rockers Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher have often viewed the world through pessimistic eyes and, from the slow-burning opener (“We’re going backwards, armed with new technology, going backwards to a caveman menta­lity”), the album is an angry call to arms. Despite appearances, the follow-up to 2013’s Delta Machine isn’t simply a commentary on the social and political issues of the Trump/Brexit era. “It just seems like such perfect timing, because the world is in such a mess,” says chief songwriter Gore, “but the majority of these songs were written in 2015-16.” The band have perfected their sleazy industrial synth sound over many years, so it’s difficult to spot any major influences from new producer and electronic music’s go-to guy James Ford, but Spirit bristles with rage and intensity, especially on the swaggering lead single Where’s the Revolution and the savage Scum.