On 11th July New Model Army let out the first official video ‘Winter’ of their homonym anticipated LP, which was released on 26th August, and four days later they also let out the second video, ‘Devil’. Justin Sullivan’s squad is back after 2014’s ‘Between Wine And Blood’, in perfect shape, sharing the new ‘Winter’ LP, a work which is complete from any point of view.
New Model Army are among the most consistent of bands, having released 16 studio LP’s since 1984’s ‘Vengeance’ as well as 6 live LP’s, 5 compilations, 4 EPs and numerous singles. Does it all look like a rock star industry band? But they are not! For almost 33 years (1983 ‘Bittersweet’, single) New Model Army are working on ‘freedom rock’ music, constantly shouting on injustice, prejudice and war that wouldn’t put them on the rock star agenda—and they don’t care about it. They are also among the few bands that have never released a non-working LP, and they are most admired in the working class (yes, us) rock fans too.
This year’s ‘Winter’ is their expected statement in our vicious times, an excellent 13-track record evolving from the first track (‘Beginning’) to the last (‘After Something’). ‘Beginning’ opens the LP with a fuzzy bass, down tempo rhythm to a loud crescendo in the end as ‘Burn The Castle’ comes ratty with a punk-like refrain, followed by ‘Winter’, a melancholic, melodic song including Sullivan’s …hope! ‘Part The Waters’ sounds as if we are chatting about life with the old school tune in our ears, while ‘Eyes Get Used To the Darkness’ is a raw and solid work out, mostly enjoyed loud! In ‘Drifts’, someone is angry, mocking and vanishing on his star, while ‘Born Feral’ comes next and dedicated to freedom’s ado followed by ‘Die Trying’, a fully acoustic song. The never-ever-give-up tune of the LP ‘Devil’ is dark and distorted, groovy and loud, while ‘Strogoula’ is stressed out of the drummer’s snare pacing to Sullivan’s anxious rendering in vocals. ‘Echo November’: break the walls, get on the streets, a dancing song for the restless which leads us to ‘Weak and Strong’: rumble on with a threat in your eye. The last song, ‘After Something’, closes this year’s adventure with New Model Army; hope never dies considering ourselves part of a whole. The ‘Winter’ LP is wonderfully arranged, with the solid band, strings, acoustic guitars and pianos, that I deliberately didn’t mention so you may discover them yourselves. The production is excellent, and the mix is 100% in their original performing sound. Last but not least, mind the lyrics and Sullivan’s vocals.
New Model Army are always telling us about life’s misconstructions and injustices, about freedom and angry hopes, guided and led by their singer’s distinguishing vocals, angry, melancholic, hopeful and serious, that has made all fans considering him as their buddy, their man on the stage and their voice that speaks the same language and dwells in the same places. That ‘Winter’ is a 10!