Artist: New Model Army
Record Label: earMUSIC
TEXT: Stefanie Singh
Winter is coming: In «Game Of Thrones», to Northern Norway and also into the shelves of your local record store as New Model Army have just released their 14th studio opus entitled «Winter». Founded in 1980 in Bradford, England, the quintet around frontman Justin Sullivan can look back on a 35 year band history in which their musical style has been labelled, amongst others, as punk rock, gothic, metal and folk, often accompanied by lyrics of political nature. And as for «Winter», all those labels are applicable.
«Winter» is a dark, melancholic and yet very powerful rock album whose lyrics couldn’t be more up-to-date: War («Winter»), the European refugee crisis («Die Trying»), criticism of the political system («Burn The Castle»)… «Winter» demonstrates in a wonderful way that inconvenient issues can be broached in euphonious compositions.
Not without good reason, the band refers to its brand new output as «a powerful and emotionally intense body of work». Justin Sullivan: «[…] I think ‘Winter’ has a really strong identity. It is very much the sound of people in difficult places – something that so many of us can relate to at the moment, on a lot of different levels.»
One of the strongest tracks on «Winter» is the current second single «Devil», whose music video consists of scenes from the 1926 silent film «Faust» with Gösta Ekman, Sr. as Faust and Emil Jannings as Mephisto only. And while we are on the topic of music videos: during a TV appearance in the 1980s, New Model Army were announced as «the ugliest band in Rock’n’Roll». It’s comforting to know that not everything is bad these days. The superficial music television is dead… while New Model Army are still alive and kicking.