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Album Review

Though "stopgaps" between albums are rarely significant, this one is. They call it an EP; at eight songs and 36 minutes, it's really a mini-LP, and it has stayed on this writer's turntable as long as their typically inspired ninth LP, 2005's Carnival, did. Its titular track is Carnival's gripping basher, a rhythmically interesting powder keg that evokes urban underclass resistance, remixed to play up its harsh leading edge (remarkable for any band, let alone one that's 27 years old). The rest are seven highly interesting recent import B-sides: a beautiful, restful vocal version of an old acoustic instrumental, the (vinyl-only) Strange Brotherhood rarity, "Caslen"; a reggae remix of Carnival's "Bluebeat"; two uniquely hot new songs (in keeping with NMA's sterling record of fantastic B-sides — see 1994's great B-Sides & Abandoned Tracks) — the raucous "Rumor & Rapture (1650)" and the hot 'n' cool simmering "One Bullet"; and three live tracks from the Taubertal Festival in Rothenberg, Germany, August 13, 2006, that remind you of what a frighteningly hot live act NMA remain. Throughout, their prime qualities sparkle: their ability to rock no matter how fast, slow, loud, or quiet; Justin Sullivan's cunning intelligence about protest music as well as an overriding empathy (the two come to a mash on the live "Another Imperial Day," when he spits like a disillusioned immigration officer, "Guns are free to move but not people/Money is free to move but not people"); and tight playing and a fiery commitment that burns within everything they do. BD3, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

To their impassioned cult of fans, New Model Army were one of the best post-punk outfits Great Britain ever produced. Combining the gut-level force of punk with the anthemic political fervor of U2 and the Alarm, as well as the urban protest folk of Billy Bragg, NMA sounded like few other bands mining similar post-punk territory. Their attack was hard, spare, and precise, but as time wore on, they were just as likely to deliver modern-day folk-rock replete with acoustic guitar, violin, and harmonica....
Full bio
BD3, New Model Army
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