Is there any other British 80s rock band as dependable as New Model Army? Formed in 1980 by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter and sole continuous member Justin Sullivan, they’ve been ploughing their own uniquely distinctive furrow of punk/folk/rock for over 40 years – far outliving the short-lived 80s genres into which they were often inappropriately categorised.
Album opener, the lead-off single First Summer After, is classic New Model Army: a mesmerising bass riff and powerful tribal drumming buttressing intricate and delicate guitar melodies, with Sullivan’s ireful yet poetic lyrics telling a story with the timeless vernacular of a homily or fable but without the dogmatic preaching of their 80s punk counterparts.
Their significant diversity (Unbroken is delayed by last year’s Sinfonia – stunning classical arrangements of back catalogue tracks performed live) can be heard in the the acoustic lament of Cold Wind, the heavy rock of Coming Or Going, the synth-laden If I Am Still Me – which harks back to 1984's debut album Vengeance – and the poignant choral Idumea. All help explain the band’s longevity.
Unbroken: New Model Army in one word.