Release Date: Sep 30, 2013
Record label: Eagle
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
After enduring a torrid time since they last released a studio album, with tragedy, fire, theft and the departure of long-time bassist Nelson, it’s thrilling to hear frontman Justin Sullivan picking up the pieces, wiping the slate clean and regenerating his vision – and not for the first time. NMA have stormed back with a record of striking primal force. There’s a powerful weaving of tribal drum beats with their youthful new bass recruit Ceri Monger’s expressive grooves, and a mixing and matching of mythic imagery, both North American and English, that seems to suggest a recognition of age-old beliefs still bubbling under the surface of the modern world.
There are few things sadder in the world of music than bands that keep trying to recycle the same stale act 30 years after first trotting it out on the world stage (I’m looking at your Sex Pistols and your sad, sad cash grab reunions). On the flip side, there’s always the chance that you’re going to alienate your original audience when you tinker too much with the formula (For many fans, “And here’s another one from our new album” is just a dog whistle that says “bathroom break”). But somehow the British Post Punk band new Model Army have managed to pivot away a bit from their original 1980’s sound, evolving into a much more layered, heavily-produced sound that, more often than not, manages to impress.