Artist Details

New Model Army

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. Throughout their career, they remained staunch advocates of the British working class, occasionally tempering their leftist, anti-Thatcher political fury with moments of personal introspection. Their shout-along anthems often borrowed the football-chant feel of Oi!, but NMA were far less given to rabble-rousing, instead aiming for intelligent dissidence. True, that could sometimes translate into preachy sloganeering, but NMA's best work earned them tremendous acclaim in the U.K., where their singles regularly placed in the lower reaches of the pop charts. U.K.-specific lyrical references, coupled with visa problems that sometimes made touring difficult, unfortunately ensured that they were all but ignored in the U.S. Still, they maintained a strong following in Europe, and leader Justin Sullivan managed to keep them going for more than two decades.