New Model Army
Between Wine And Blood
added: 2 Sep 2014
// release date: 8 Sep 2014 // label: Attack Attack
reviewer: Max Geraghty
Hot on the heels of New Model Army's 12th studio album Between Dog and Wolf that was released this time last year, this new double disc comprising 6 new songs and a live album recorded on the bands recent tour, is more than just an appendage to the latter named release, but has an identity and cohesion of its own. Mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Soundgarden) the new material fuels the continued hope that despite 30 plus illustrious years, there is still plenty more still in the tank.
Disc 1, comprising 6 new studio tracks, clocking in at almost 30 minutes, opens with the swaggering According to You. Lead singer (and helmsmen) Justin Sullivan delivers his usual emotive lyrics and it's clear that there is no compromising the standards. It is difficult to imagine that New Model Army are a band nearing the end of their days. Passionate and inspiring, they plug into the heart and soul. Angry Planet follows with its driving guitar riff, big lyrics and melodic chorus (being a self confessed QOTSA fan, it's easy to see Sullivan's influences on this one.) The quality doesn't let up. Guessing serves up 3 and a half minutes of rock 'n roll with youthful panache (like all great rock bands, it belies their years) Whereas, the romance and nostalgia stirred up by Sunrise is another example of NMA's allure.
All their albums have comprised songs that are solid and uncompromising, albeit that some albums have been more cohesive than others. Last years BD&W is certainly amongst one of their most accomplished. The live versions synched together on Disc 2, in an alternative track listing (minus one or two of the weaker tracks off the album) serve to prove this. In fact, taking Pull the Sun and Lean Back and Fall as two examples, they sound stronger and more emotive than the originals - snapshots of the passion and energy that infuses their gigs that was particularly resurrected on the recent tour.
All in all, a worthwhile purchase. A fine collection of new material along with a well justified live album release. As an aged NMA fan, I am pleased to see so many younger faces coming to their gigs. When all is said and done New Model Army will leave behind a strong legacy. In the meantime, I hope this isn't the last of it. I for one, am eager for more.
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