(8/10) I have to admit that I like New Model Army already since decades. Their hits like "51st stae" and "Vagabonds" are highlights in rock and should be known by every rock fan. After having their peak in the end of the 80'/beginning of the 90's New Model Army disappeared a bit. They still released albums which have been also good, but the big success of the before mentioned songs couldn't be repeated anymore.
A few days ago the band of Justin Sullivan released a new album called "Between wine and blood". Actually it's not a real new album. It is more an EP with additional live songs. The reason why we can enjoy this newest release was a bloodclot in the leg of drummer Michael Dean. He got this diagnose in spring this year which led to a cancellation of the second leg of the tour. But the band didn't twiddle one's thumb. The used the time to write and record the new tunes.
In total there are six new songs on the silver disc. All of them are pretty strong numbers which remind me to the earlier days of the band. The opener "According to you" is a melodic indie rocker that has a cool melody. The hypnotic "Angry planet" with its downtuned guitar sound is a real highlight. Hard and still dancable - those are characteristics of the song that belongs for me to the best songs the band wrote.
Teh galopping "Guessing" is dominated by a tight rhythm section and the voice of Sullivan. Than it becomes slow and sphereful. I was reminded to "Green and grey" from "Thunder and consolation" when I heard "Happy to be here" for the first time. It is a well crafted 6 minutes long track which I like, eventhough it doesn't reach the high level of "Green and grey".
"Devil's bargain" is probabaly the weakest of the six new songs, but I can live with this fact. The other tracks are really good ones. That includes the contemplative "Sunrise".
The rest of the songs on "Between wine and blood" are live recordings from the latest tour of New Model Army. The sound of those tunes is really good. The songs come powerful round the corner and eventhough I love their hits like the mentioned ones in the beginning, I must say that I appreciate to not have them as part of the live tracks. It's mainly the tunes from the 2013 release "Betwen dog and wolf" that shines in the spotlight of the live performace. A good choice.
All in all I like this 'extended EP'. Good new songs combined with excellent live recordings leads to a good album from the Bradford based indie rockers.
- According to you
- Angry planet
- Happy to be here
- Devil's bargain
- Strom clouds
- March in September
- Did you make it safe
- I need more time
- Pull the sun
- Lean back and fall
- Seven times
- Between dog and wolf
- Summer moors
Genre: Indie Rock