New Model Army -‘Between Dog And Wolf’ (Attack Attack)
This album is the twelfth album from the Bradford institution, and thirty years since the release of their debut single ‘Bittersweet.’ And it finds them firing all all cylinders – lyrically, musically, and creatively.
Though the band have been victim to a lot of lazy and stupid journalism over time, the reality is that they were -and are – a band with a huge cult following, and who follow their own path. Variously lumped in with punk and post-punk, folk, metal, goth – the reality is that New Model Army aren’t bothered by changing fads and fancies and pursue their own interests musically. They’ve taken on board hip-hop influences (check out ‘You Weren’t There’ on 2000’s Eight or ‘Inheritance’ on 1989’s Thunder and Consolation), without the embarrassment that usually entails when rock bands try and do this.
They’ve always stretched their horizons, and the reality is that right from the opening ‘Horsemen’ they’re using more voices – not just Justin Sullivan’s, more drums and just, somehow, more everything, without the album ending up overblown. And this spirit continues through the album. There’s a number of excellent songs on here – my personal highlights would be ‘March In September’ ‘Lean Back And Fall’ and ‘I Need More Time,’ though the likelihood is that their fanbase (of which I am proud to include myself) will have their own favourites.
Perhaps best known for Thunder and Consolation, the band may hold a mirror up to the reality of the world around them, and yet rather than a nihilist ‘we’re all doomed’ they continue to offer a way forward, together. And – many years after they left major labels behind – produced one of their strongest efforts to date.
Long may they continue.
Between Dog And Wolf is out now on Attack Attack