Small Town England features 2 cd's. The 'First' is a retrospective one with songs dating from New Model Army's pre-'No rest' days. The second album is the set they played for the BBC. The sound is crisp, the quality of both recordings is very good.
All of the tracks are from the early 80's. If features the classic and driven 'Vengeance', but in fact all the songs remain powerful, both lyrically and rhythmically, and easily stand the test of time. Eventhough some songs have been outdated (like 'Spirit of the Falklands' and '1984') these songs paint a vivid picture of the 80's. On the other hand, these songs (alongside 'Small Town England' of course), show us that the world hasn't changed much. Also the social and critically involved side of NMA is portrayed beautifully by songs like the before mentioned, as well as 'Great Expectations' and 'Cristian Militia'.
Eventhough this album has a more 'punk' feel than their later albums, the diversity of the songs (both lyrically and technically) would make the claim that this is a punk album pure nonsense. If you really want to stick a label on it, it is an indie album which flirts with new wave and which thrives on strong drums and bass lines.
Eventhough, not their best album, it is still a solid and strong album and a testimonial of a decade. Recommended for all those who like 80's new wave, NMA, or indie rock.