Bitter Ode to a Dying World
Robert J. Howal | Nowhere USA | 09/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At first listen to the opening title track I thought I had mistakenly gotten a Motorhead disc in a New Model Army sleeve. Today Is A Good Day is a battering ram of a song and indicative of what is to follow. The coloring and the tone of the album is unequivocally set - and it is mercilessly dark and heavy. Not every song is so frankly heavy but this is indeed a very heavy album. Even the mellower songs are rock hard - like the stone cold ground. Gone is most (though not all) of the subtle invention NMA has employed over the past decade and a half to soften the effect of their bleak philosophical sensibility. The melody aspect of the Raw Melody Men that had been operative gives way to the raw on this effort. The music is characterized by a much straighter rock structure and is dominated by thick and driving guitar riffs. I must admit that I wanted to hit eject half way through my first listen because I could not appreciate any filigree. But I have stuck with it, reading the lyrics and listening closely. I can now hear much more in it and can relate to it. It fits NMA presently in a personal way, it fits their overall catalog and it fits the times we are living in. This album's terms are demanding, uncompromising even, but it is an understandable and ultimately worthwhile piece of work. The final track North Star wraps it all up and closes it mournfully but beautifully."
Best album in years!
rick from Boston | 10/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NMA's new release is packed with great lyrics(no surprise), lots of guitar(including a number of solos!), and consistent energy all the way through. "Today is a good day" starts it off with a blast of heavy guitar riffing and the energy level remains high throughout.Marshall Gills guitar is all over this album, and he plays some very tasteful solos. "Arm yourselves and run" will have you shouting out the chorus while pumping your fist in the air. Justin's lyrics are spot on as usual. That's always a given. They even perform a reworking of "ocean rising", the song about Ernest Shackeltons' amazing boat journey from Justins' solo album. It gets rocked up a bit but still retains that haunting keyboard riff from the original.It's a tribute to the band that they can still put out quality rock like this after over 20 years in the business. But then again,is anyone surprised? It's New Model Army! The best unknown band in rock."