on 27 September 2013
Seldom do I come across an album that affects me as much as this one does. Justin has always had a habit of writing songs that either speak to where I am or will be but though none of the songs here are as visceral as Red Earth, Today is a Good Day, Vengeance or 51st State every single one raised my hackles on first listen and a week later they are still doing so. This is an album for listening to loud while driving, preferably alone so people don't complain as you sing along.
Stand outs at the moment for me are Horseman, Stormclouds and Between Dog and Wolf though there isn't a lot to choose between them and in a different mood I may pick others. I look forward to hearing the Army's army chanting accompaniment when they tour.
It is definitely a change from their recent stuff and I get why some critics have compared this to Pink Floyd. The album has that brooding air of The Wall. The defining track is probably Tomorrow Came whose lyrics say it all. Good to see that the Annus Horribilis hasn't had a negative effect on Justin and co. Long may the Army stay in the field.
Edit. Can't believe I forgot to say that the primary impulse for buying this album was the cover. I pre-ordered off the bands site and got the bookbound CD. The Artwork of Joolz is stunning and an absolute perfect fit with the feel of the music. Got the T-shirt as well.
on 10 October 2013
NMA keep getting better the older they get, just like aged wine. This album shows that they are still capable of writing stunning music. From the lush acoustic guitars to the tribal drums to Justin Sullivan unmistakable voice. I've been a fan of theirs since my teen years and now at the age of 44 I find myself even more attached to their music. So many superb tunes on this album that its hard to say one is better than the other but having said that Summer Moores leaves you wanting to put it on repeat till your ears had enough but still wanting more, haunting tune about lost love. Pull the sun, Lean back and fall, Knievel, Between dog and wolf, Qasr El Nil Bridge(Castle of the nile) with its Arabic instrumentation is gorgeous. To sum it up this is a top notch album by one of the most influential British bands we've had. Buy it, enjoy it, you won't regret it. Ta.
on 13 December 2013
For bands that are really important to me, bands that I have supported for a lifetime, any new album release is a big deal, something to look forward to. To be honest when I first heard the album samples I was not that impressed. However with so many positive reviews I decided to take the plunge. Boy, am I glad I did.
After enduring a torrid time since they last released a studio album, with tragedy, fire, and theft plaguing them it's good to see them picking up the pieces, delivering what could be considered a High point in their carrier. The polemic anger and politically overt undertones are still there but instead of being delivered with angst and trigger happy young men ready to be martyred for their cause, it's delivered with the wisdom of the elders from the tribe. In all NMA music there exists an underlying sense of uneasiness, a sense that it could all kick off at any moment, this offering is no different. It's full of tension live a rubber band that's about to snap.
There's a powerful weaving of tribal drum beats, and the mixing and matching of mythic imagery that seems to regenerate old pagan beliefs letting them slowly permeate into the consciences of the modern world. Not unlike the Cult Dreamtime or early Spear of Destiny. The holistic sound is infused with a joined-up panorama of the elements, of decay and renewal, and of a sense of continuity in change. It like a return to the old ways, it's as if the serpent has awoken from slumber with a powerful resonance. The atmosphere of the music draws the listener in and congers up images of the dead strewn over the battlefield. It may have benefitted from a slightly more powerful and, gritty production which might have ensured that the strength of the music would have broken the surface to get deeper under your skin, never the less do not be distracted the experience takes you on a journey into some dark places and lesser walked paths. The band sounds rejuvenated and purposeful, The sound is vast and empty, as if the whole band were recorded in a vacuum. Even at its most visceral, it manages to lift the listener out of the studio and into the heart of nowhere ...
Propelled by Justin Sullivan's terse vocals and evocative lyrics, New Model Army are still able to wave the banner for the disenfranchised, perhaps this explains why they have outlived their contemporaries, and, through their continued relevance, and remain to have such an impact on our unstable society. The search for truth and contradiction is prevalent throughout. In absence of any real or singular "anthem", this album is unlikely to win new fans, but to the discerning listener, this is arguably one of the finest, creative collections New Model Army has assembled in years.
If you are a fan or just curious just buy it you will not be disappointed.
on 8 October 2013
I have been following the Army since i was 16, and i'm 38 now....and without doubt, this is their best ever album, in my opinion!!! Beautiful, romantic, tribal, passionate and intelligent. This album sounds more like New Model Army than New Model Army...does that make any sense?!!! It's how i would dream that they would sound. Their last few albums; High, Carnival, Today is a Good Day etc. were great...but parts left me a bit cold. When the Army are angry and loud, it's great always, but this new album holds a more relaxed and a more powerful magic. It is slower and less abrasive, drawing you into a dream like state with the multi-layered drums and Justin Sullivan's rugged but sublime voice. I remember years ago Justin saying that he always wanted songs he wrote to make the hairs on your arm to stand up when you heard them. Every song on this album does just that. Apart from one...I need more time, which i just really don't like. But the rest of the album is PERFECT!!!! Top four albums of NMA:
1. Between Dog and Wolf
2. Thunder and Consolation
3. B sides and Abandoned Tracks
4. Lost Songs
Buy it now, you will love it :-)
on 15 November 2013
I gave this 4 stars, more fool me because if you listen to it a few times it really is a brilliantly accomplished piece of work, the multi layer of sounds (I love the chimes on the title track) and the lyrical content (Justin hasn't lost his bite and vision). This has possibly 2 of the best NMA tracks I've heard in 'March In September" and 'Kinevel' (I get chills just listening to this one), whilst the title track and 'Stormclouds' must rank as high as some of their 'acclaimed' work as well. In fact the whole album just oozes class and is possibly the greatest 'new' album from an old band that I've heard since Killing Jokes 'Absolute Dissent'.
This in the real world would be the best album of the but then we live in an 'X factor' box these days so it will go un noticed by all but the fans and a few that are lucky enough to stumble upon it by word of mouth.
Lets hope the band continue in this vein its great to see them moving forward like this.
And if you get to see them 'live' then do because these songs as well as their back catalogue really will astound you.
5 stars now i've given it more time
on 20 January 2014
After years out of the public glare New Model Army return with a stunning album. I was always a fair weather fan, loving moments from their back catalogue than a die hard fan, but Between Dog and Wolf is a intriguing album, in some ways it sits out of time with the current technological advances of the world, yet the lyrics are warm and have the emotional gravity which Justin Sullivan always conveyed.
From the opening gallop of Horsemen through the mellower refrains of Seven Times and I Need More Time, through to the title track and closer Ghosts this album entices you in and invites further listening. In fact having listened to this numerous times in the car, this album feels at totally at home as the British scenery flashes past the windows. I never expected NMA to return with an album of such depth and brilliance, but I am heartily glad they did!
on 25 September 2013
I'm a Bradford lad and have taken an interest in NMA ever since they formed in Bradford in 1980. Having said that I've never been a big fan of their music. I like some tunes from some of their albums and I went to see them a couple of times in the 80s. This album is a corker from start to finish. No filler here imo. The music, in the main, revolves around excellent percussion and tribal beats. Four of the five main band members are credited with the percussion. The bass guitar has a nice rasp sound and I suspect Ceri Monger may have used Rickenbacker basses for this one. The lyrics are clever and they avoid the direct political statements of yesteryear. The album was produced by Justin Sullivan and Michael Dean and I think they've done an excellent job. A crisp, crystal clear sound and beautifully mixed to boot. Some of the album was recorded and edited at 'The Mill' in Bradford (Thanks guys, nice touch!!). The album comes in a beautiful card and paper gate fold booklet containing the lyrics and album information. The only plastic is the disc (and the cellophane seal). I think 2013 has been a great year for new albums and 'Between Dog and Wolf' deserves a place, with this year's best, at the top table. The album weighs in at a respectable 64 minutes and is worth every penny of it's current £9.99 price tag. I paid a couple of quid extra and bought mine from a Bradford record shop. HMV actually, but it's the thought that counts.
on 15 November 2013
First listen was, for some unknown reason, a little ambivalent. However after the 2nd and 3rd listens the music comes into its own and may well be the best album they have ever made. Sound is superb. The arrangement of songs is fascinating, exciting and intriguing. Extra percussion, great bass sounds and all the things one always expects from one of Britain's most underrated bands (by the media anyway, not the fans). Give it a try, if you've never listened before and like some challenging and involving rock music.
on 24 September 2013
If you are looking for songs like "Today is a good day", "Get me out", "No rest" or "Here comes the war" then you won't find them on this album.
About the most lively this album gets is on my favourite track, "Tomorrow Came".
However, despite being fairly easy listening, it (in the most part) avoids sounding boring. There are great drums on this album throughout, and enough audible guitar to keep the album interesting.
The normal NMA great lyrics are here, but the sound has matured and almost floats above the words. I would have to class two or three tracks as fillers, but on the whole a very well constructed album that flows well from start to end.
Standout tracks for me are the radio-friendly "March in September", the melodic "Lean back and fall", the foot-tapping "Seven times" and the more traditional NMA sounding "Tomorrow came".
If you want volume and lots of guitars then look elsewhere, but if you want a good easy-listening album with tribal-sounding drums throughout then you won't find much better than this.
on 3 October 2013
This album takes NMA on a new tack - more personal, layered, but still full of the guitar and drums that will get under your skin in no time. Not as "in-your-face" as older albums though. And who would have thought that NMA would ever do a song about that all-american icon, Evel Knievel? And yet, it's still a really poignant song about how we view our heroes.
Long-term fans should check their ORG site to see the video for "March To September" which has footage from down the years.
Standout songs for me are the title track, Horsemen, March in September, and Pull The Sun, but there's nothing not to like. I think the upcoming tour is really going to show another dimension to the songs, and punch them into orbit!
The title comes from the french "L'heure entre chien et loupe" - The Hour between Dog and Wolf - which relates to dusk, when everything changes...
There you go, Fact Fans!
This is going to be in the CD player for a long time.