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New Model Army - Anthology (Album Review)

Friday, 03 December 2010 Written by Jonny Rimmer
New Model Army - Anthology (Album Review)

Post-punk pioneers New Model Army celebrate 30 years this year with a collection of Ďhitsí old and new, and whilst they may not be a household name, their influence can definitely be heard on modern music.

Thereís a little Smiths, a little Clash and even a whiff of Billy Bragg throughout this compilation. Surprisingly itís their older tracks that still sound the most fresh. 'Vengeance' is as good a track as any to kick off their anthology, with its relentless rhythm section and biting lyrics a good indicator of the bandís sound. 'Masterrace', 'Purity' and 'Vagabonds' are also some of the key highlights, and all were released before the half-way point in this prolific groupsí career.

ImageLyrically, Justin Sullivan is politically unwavering from the first record, 'Vengeance', to their most recent, 'Today is a Good Day'. The latterís title track sums up the bandís rebellious streak with lyrics such as ĎThese rules are not agreed...they donít apply to me.Ē
This left-wing, anti-imperialist stance perhaps limited this bandís progress to a degree, particularly as they are often barred from entering the United States to tour. Wherever you stand, Sullivanís lyrics are a definite strong point and whilst his fierce rhetoric can be misunderstood, they must at least be treated as poetry at least.

Musically, it is the tracks with a more eastern tinge or a strings arrangement that tend to stand out on this very extensive collection. The band themselves must be given credit for this, as they themselves hand-picked the tracklist themselves. Rather than sound needlessly long or overdone, this compilation is reasonably accessible for new listeners, given that they donít power through all 30 tracks in one go.

Iíd highly recommend New Model Armyís Anthology as a starting point to the band, particularly to more open-minded music fans.

Stereoboard Album Rating: 8/10


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