The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD NEW MODEL ARMY BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF REVIEW

NEW MODEL ARMY

BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF

2013

 

 

A SMOULDERING HEART

 

 

Back in the day New Model Army were very much on my radar along with bands like The Cult, Sisters of Mercy and The Mission. Always radical, cutting and insistent their music told you about the corruption in the world at large, railing against such things as State control, US Imperialism and a host of other issues that are so immediately recognisable today. Unlike some, NMA certainly told you like it was rather than letting you decide and while they were primarily seen as punk at times they could be both poetic and certainly a lot more melodic than their peers. With NMA you were either in or out and seeing them in those early days was an experience in itself.

 


33 years later ‘Between Dog and Wolf’ is NMA’s 12th studio album and begins with the low key ‘Horsemen’ with is followed by the surprisingly soulful pop of ‘March in September’ for a band that formed in 1980 they are still able to surprise! Both in truth are fine songs, if a little unsettlingly calm! This is certainly a very different NMA to any we’ve heard before.

 


As the album progresses we get a little more fire and it comes as much from the intonation as much as anything. At times like on the title track you are reminded of the glory of NMA of days gone by, which should keep the faithful happy. At other times there’s hints of Neil Young in the distinctly amongst the tribal drums and insistent rhythms.

 


Sonically this is a low key album, but it’s also harbours a smoldering heart, one that you catch glimpses of from time to time. Most memorable are the atmospheric and politically charged ‘Qasr al Nil Bridge’ an epic that weaves some wonderful pictures while posing some poignant questions. There’s also a slight mournfulness in songs like the title track, ‘Did You Make it Safe’ and ‘Tomorrow Came’, but always with NMA it’s more complex emotionally and all are excellent songs that even though sonically less vivacious than past offerings still have all the power of the NMA we know. This is an album you need to live with and every time I play it – it just gets better.   

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

CD NEW MODEL ARMY BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF REVIEW 2013