New Model Army - From Here

There’s always been a degree of snobbery directed towards Bradford’s New Model Army, who seemed to spend the late 80s and early 90s performing mid-afternoon slots at Reading Festival to audiences of dreadlocked vegetarians.

But no amount of dog-on-string jokes has ever held them back. From Here, their 15th album, is an impassioned, impressive collection that refutes every inherited prejudice detractors might offer, and also explains why 2016’s Winter was their highest charting album in over two decades.

Their style, of course, remains a gritty variation on ‘Big Music’, with The Weather recalling Thin Lizzy as much as overlooked early 90s U2 wannabes This Picture, while Setting Sun suggests none other than Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds were they to try their hand at folk. Opener Passing Through is particularly intense, its guitars growling slowly towards a stormy climax, while End Of Days is suitably apocalyptic and Watch And Learn full of menace as noisy as The God Machine’s, though they’re having so much fun it ends with hearty laughter. The pounding title track closer, however, is instead fuelled by righteous fury and mockery of those drunk on power. We’d all do well to listen.

8/10

Wyndham Wallace

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