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|NEW MODEL ARMY: Don't you forget us #2|
Keeping up on my 'underrated Post-Punk acts' list series we have New Model Army. Sure, they definitely won't appear on any 'Underrated Post-Punk Bands' list, but then again, they will hardly make the cut into your 'What First Comes to Mind' circle. I must admit, revisiting their material, I found myself disliking a lot of what I used to deem acceptable. Huh. Anyways, here we go.
|15||New Model Army|
"Episode 5: The Crossover"
So this is that moment in NMA's career, when their music started to sound like a softly played Hard Rock or hard played Country-ish Folk Rock. It's strange how their usual kind of songwriting set among that style makes it sound a little cheesy and more silly than ambitious. The harder influences don't affect the sound entirely, but still leave a rather baffled aftertaste. The distance between this and a good NMA record is bigger than the distance between Justin Sullivan's teeth.
Go-to tracks: Purity, Before I Get Old
|14||New Model Army|
Between Wine And Blood
"Episode 12.5: The Additions"
This is not a studio album, it is a collection of B-Sides and live recordings of Between Dog and Wolf album. Not breaking any new grounds even within the boundaries of their own discography, but still flowing confidently through the stylistic streams set by records before the one it is attached to. It's a fine musical project and the live recordings are as decent as live recordings can be. It doesn't offer a whole lot above just a few more minutes of nice music, but it is not required to either.
Go-to tracks: Angry Planet, Sunrise
|13||New Model Army|
"Episode 7: The Underwhelming"
NMA have completely abandoned their past sound, but also stopped endulging in that half-assed Hard Rock sound. Instead, we are presented with a collection of tracks with a rather experimental songwriting, albeit forgettable. You can't dispute the band's attempts on here. On one hand, it is written the way you'd expect of a good NMA album, but a certain odd instrumental execution just keeps it from having band's usual appeal. Still, it's not an entirely disposable album.
Go-to tracks: Gigabyte Wars, Killing, No Pain
|12||New Model Army|
"Interlude: The History"
A collection of standalones, b-sides and unreleased tracks that actually form a surprisingly compelling record, even though they are all from different stylistic periods of NMA's career. Naturally, it isn't all that cohesive a compilation, but if you seek more NMA to cure your NMA addiction, this is not a bad place to look. Most of the songs aren't all that outstanding, but are at least entertaining, while they last.
Go-to tracks: Far Better Things, BD7, Still Here
|11||New Model Army|
The Love of Hopeless Causes
"Episode 6: The Improvement"
At this point it became clear that the strange Hard Rock influences from Impurity are here to stay. And to the band's credit, they do the sound some ustice over here. It no longer sounds like a muddy mutant, but more like a fully realised album. It still has that strange cheesy, overly accessible simplicity to it, but it doesn't bore this time around.
Go-to tracks: Fate, White Light, These Words, Bad Old World
|10||New Model Army|
"Episode 8: The Reinvention"
Their most inconspicuous album title does not indicate any simplicity or straight-forward approach in the album's material. Eight is a sort of breaking point for the band, because they pretty much detached themselves from the chains of any past accessibility. This is easily their most atmospheric and solemn record. And all of those aspects work in perfectly to create an intriguing experience like the band has never done before.
Go-to tracks: Orange Tree Roads, Someone Like Jesus, Snelsmore Wood, Leeds Road 3am
|9||New Model Army|
The Ghost of Cain
"Episode 3: The Politics"
It is remarkable just how little this band can change in their approach to making music for each new album, but still sound reinvented and fresh. Sure enough, there are striking similarities to their previous and following records, but unlike Vengeance's brief rapidity or No Rest For the Wicked's polished flow, The Ghost of Cain focuses a little more on even more straight-forward and critical side of things in its themes and consequently on a more vicious songwriting.
Go-to tracks: Lights Go Out, All of This, Poison Street, Western Dreams
|8||New Model Army|
Today Is a Good Day
"Episode 11: The Devilishness"
Oh look, Hard Rock's back... oh boy. But this album is not just another attempt at mixing Post-Punk with Hard Rock, for it also has that dark, near-demonic nature of Carnival and High. After all these years, after all the musical shifts, we finally have a NMA album that sounds like a fully fledged Post-Punk with all the bass intensity and the emotional frailty in songwriting.
Go-to tracks: Peace Is Only, Ocean Rising, Mambo Queen of the Sandstone City
|7||New Model Army|
"Episode 9: The Resurgence"
Although Eight was certainly a refreshing take on NMA's music, it wasn't until Carnival that their attempts at reinventing themselves brought actual fruit. They accomplished that by adding more of an atmospheric and stormy touch to their older sound. It's an album that might not be perfect all the way through, but at least provides a much needed breath of fresh air among albums that tried to be breaths of fresh air.
Go-to tracks: BD3, Prayer Flags, Carlisle Road, Too Close To The Sun, Another Imperial Day, Fireworks Night
|6||New Model Army|
Between Dog And Wolf
"Episode 12: The Calm"
One notable difference from the rest of their repertoire is that this record delves a little more into the almost meditative and cooled down depths. It's definitely their artiest output, although that only means that it is not as banally accessible as the rest. It reqires you to be patient, but is ultimately rewarding, when you are.
Go-to tracks: Did You Make It Safe?, I Need More Time, Between Dog and Wolf
|5||New Model Army|
"Episode 13: The Stability"
NMA's latest is also their liveliest in a long time. As their discography grew into the 21st century, their albums one by one started gaining more and more slow-pace feel. That speed-descenting line is finally broken with this incredibly layered and instrumentally extensive record. It is easily their most stable record since, dare I say, Thunder and Consolation. On the other hand, the band's tendency to incorporate some background-Post-Rock influences comes forth on here again and possibly more than ever before.
Go-to tracks: Winter, Part the Waters, Eyes Get Used to the Darkness, Devil
|4||New Model Army|
No Rest For The Wicked
"Episode 2: The Slickness"
Vengeance was a hell of an ambitious start for NMA, but with further records one needs a certain growth. So they dialed back on the roughness ever so slightly and added just a correct amount of sexy smoothness. But don't expect any radical change; this is still that typical NMA cockiness with a dose of lovely softness, except with a certain clean flow.
Go-to tracks: Ambition, Better Than Them, Shot 18
|3||New Model Army|
"Episode 10: The High"
The baffling period of NMA's career has officially ended with this release. Its songwriting is menacing, its instrumentation visceral and its atmosphere emotional, but also containing a certain amount of darkness. Although it is not the rapidity the band's initial releases possessed, it is still a nice spicing of the sauce.
Go-to tracks: One of the Chosen, No Mirror No Shadow, Nothing Dies Easy, Breathing
|2||New Model Army|
"Episode 1: The Tightness"
People often forget just how catchy a tune was New Model Army capabale of writing. And nowhere is it as present as on here. Vengeance is among the shortest, but simultaneously tightest and most compositionally dense records in Post-Punk. In only barely 30 minutes the band persents us with a handful of addictive, masterfully produced and brilliantly written songs.
Go-to tracks: Christian Militia, Notice Me, Smalltown England, Spirit of the Falklands
|1||New Model Army|
Thunder and Consolation
"Episode 4: The Ambition"
This album is a monolith. An idea of releasing 15 songs (or even 19, depending on what version you have) on one album is surely an ambitious one, so you better make sure that they are as good as they can be. The band took the aimless catchiness and compositional raditude of their earlier work, instrumental variety of their more experimental phases and bold anthemic conceptual ambition to push Post-Punk forward into more ambitious and monolithic horizons. This album can go from grandiose to sensual in seamless transitions and still possess a certain smooth slickness. It is a magnetic and pulsating record that strikes with its instantly memorable songwriting and overwhelming nature.
Go-to tracks: I Love the World, 225, Green and Grey, Family Life, Vagabonds, Archway Towers, The Charge, White Coats
|Next stop: Half Man Half Biscuit|
|Half Man Half Biscuit are legendary!|
New Model Army was me history teachers fave band. The bloke was a bit of a cunt from what I can remember.
|Half Man Half Biscuit are legendary indeed, but I noticed that Sputnik is somewhat neglectful of them, therefore they're up next... unless I dig up something better, of course.|
|1 is really damn good, Inheritance blows but the rest is basically solid gold. 9 is also really fun but a little inconsistent.|
|Stupid question: do they have anything to do with Gary Numan's New Model Army?|
|Don't be so bloody stupid man.|
|half man half biscuit would be amazing, Unique! can't wait for that|
|They share a name... that's something, innit?|
|Sorry *skulks off to wikipedia*|
|Oliver and Thomas|
|It's actually a quality band name.|
|Can't tell what is that a reference to?|
|New Model Army for band name.|
Oliver and Thomas Cromwell in response to 'they share a name' and the link between Oliver Cromwell creating the said army.
|ooh, all google told me is that Oliver and Thomas is a reference to Thomas the Tank Engine... doubt that was your intention.|
|Only heard 9 in full so I'll check 1 some time this week|
|You do that.|
|one list per day please|
|Oh crap, it's still the same day in the US? Dammit!|
|So what now, should I reupload this?|
Green and Grey
Better Than Them
Did You Make It Safe?