fri 20/09/2019

CD: New Model Army - From Here | reviews, news & interviews

CD: New Model Army - From Here

CD: New Model Army - From Here

Almost 40 years on and the Bradford post-punks are still gloomy

'Sullivan’s viewpoint also seems to have encouraged him to step away from society generally'

Justin Sullivan, the last remaining original member of Bradford post-punkers New Model Army, has always given the impression of taking things all a bit seriously. After all, he did go by the name of Slade the Leveller and wear wooden clogs for the first few years of the band, railing against the small-mindedness of “Small Town England” and howling for “Vengeance”. Some 40 years on, while Justin may have mellowed a bit, he can still hardly be described as light-hearted and frivolous in his approach to songwriting. Instead, his worldview of general disappointment at the rest of the human race, as it unthinkingly flushes all that is good down the toilet, still dominates his poetic lyrics – while the tunes find themselves largely soaked in fairly unenthralling Celtic-tinged Dad Rock. Not that it’ll bother New Model Army’s somewhat fanatical followers – The Family.

Sullivan’s viewpoint also seems to have encouraged him to step away from society generally and to live somewhere in the past. In “Never Arriving”, he finds himself driving through medieval towns with musket-ball damaged walls, while bemoaning the tourist industry that is probably the only thing that stops them being bulldozed to make way for modern shopping centres. Elsewhere, there are plenty of allusions to setting sail with an army under flying colours and other anachronistic turns of phrase that are unlikely to have a text-speak equivalent.

“End of Days” and “The Weather” take on the slow-motion environmental collapse around us, while “Where I Am” rails against a world where “everybody wants to be someone else”. It’s not that he doesn’t have a point – you only have to turn on the TV news or go online to see that. But a bit of light and shade really wouldn’t go amiss, especially when the music is such a plodding reminder of a past that no-one would want to revisit.

While Sullivan may have mellowed a bit, he can still hardly be described as light-hearted and frivolous


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article


Awesome best band ever and I am a hardcore punk

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.