You Like Me!
Thanks to all of you who voted for me for the Best Kept Secret Bloggie award! It's an honor to win and I'd like to thank lots of people, but mostly those people over on the sidebar, and down there in the comments section, and over in my email inbox, because they're the reason I keep doing this whole thang yo. And to those whom I owe replies - you're not forgotten, I'm just crazy busy. Look for some big announcements on the horizon. Shit be moving in the background...
On to todays music:
New Model Army - White Coats - Last Thursday Night, I had the privelige of seeing one of the greatest bands that never got their due play Southpaw, as part of their first American tour in 12 years. New Model Army are back folks, and they have a new album due out this summmer. But a lot of folks out there probably don't know these guys, so I figured it might be wise to do a little retrospective and post 2 of the hilights from Thursday's show, and the bands landmark, 1988 album, Thunder and Consolation. Well, thats not totally accurate. "White Coats" was a single released just before the album, and is included on the album nowadays as a bonus track, to close it out. Fiercly political punk rock, rooted in british folk, New Model Army's brand of post-punk sounds a bit like a stripped down, vicious answer to the bombast of the late 80's hair metal, and the splintered aftermath of punks explosion. NMA's brought it in close, with a 3 piece, filling out the sound with keyboards and the occasional hired string, but really, behind it all is an absolutely punishing rythym section. Original drummer Robert Heaton passed on about a year ago, but he lives on through his work on albums such as Thunder. As the song closes out with a repeated cry of "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," you can't help but stand up and cry out in chorus.
New Model Army - Inheritance - Inheritance is even more proof of Heaton as the bands soul. The song has a jazzy feel almost, stripped almost entirely to just drums - only an occasional bass note intrudes for the whole of the songs first minute. Meanwhile the vocals are delivered in a vaguely menacing cadence, with harmonies offset just enough to add to the sense of danger in the song, while a pair of archetypal parents are addressed with a variety of nasty remarks, and musings on a future that seems prewritten. The song is a mess of pure tension, seemingly waiting for a release, but that isn't New Model Army's style. This isn't a band about catharsis. This is about that wants to make you squirm. They want to make the world uncomfortable with their presence before they spit in it's face and walk away. If they had done anything else, they'd just be another U2 clone. On album, the track leads in to one of NMA's signature songs (and one written by Heaton), the incomparable "Green & Grey," which is worth the price of the album in it's own right - which is why I'm not posting it here.
[Sadly, Thunder & Consolation is out of print, but most of the vital tracks are availiable from NMA's online store @ Ideal Copy on the many compilations that have been put out.]