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Strange Brotherhood

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Album Review

New Model Army albums are uncompromising and jagged. Full of expectancy and dynamics. Yet Strange Brotherhood never really gets off the ground and certainly never soars the way the band did on any of their prior recordings. Almost lacking in passion, the album sprawls with a dissipated energy, all the more surprising given the four years since The Love of Hopeless Causes. Violinist Ed Alleyne Johnson is noticed in his absence. The inclusion of strings and even a brass section never bring the spark necessary to ignite the album. There are moments of drama, angst, and passion. "Killing" threatens, the horns on "Gigabyte Wars" add a welcome flourish, and "What a Wonderful Way to Go" is the type of tune New Model Army is best suited to, a rocking heavy-handed passionate punk-folk stormer. Yet overall, the whole album is worthy yet never outstanding. The 12 songs blend all too easily, and the album passes by without leaving any lasting impression. ~ Michael M. Murphy, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Try it

This one gets panned sometimes, and that's just ridiculous. If you can't find something to love about this album you just aren't trying. Killing, Wonderful Way To Go, Over the Wire, these all rock. No Pain, Lullaby, so many others will touch your soul. And while some deride the musical direction of Gigabyte Wars, just listen to the lyrics. Clever and biting as we'd expect from Justin Sullivan.


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....
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Strange Brotherhood, New Model Army
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