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New Model Army - Between Dog and WolfThe 12th studio album by these well-respected UK-based alternative rockers should not disappoint their loyal fan-base and should also be something special for those who aren’t so familiar with their style.  Beginning with a tribal and prominent drumbeat to the backdrop of some spacious atmosphere, Horsemen gets the journey off to a fine start.

Four years in the making of an album is more than sufficient in which to bring about some strong material, and with all 14 tracks New Model Army do just that.  Second track March in September brings a hook-laden and familiar quality which adds to its palette whilst Seven Times maintains this solid opening salvo.  Between Dog and Wolf is a real highlight as an album, and will hopefully make many people’s ‘best of’ list at the end of this year.

Everything from their dedication to their hometown and immediate surroundings of Yorkshire, England in the shape of Summer Moors, to the epic and politically fuelled Qasr El Nil Bridge and the poetic observational nature of the Evel Knievel inspired Knievel, this album sizzles with a genuine heart and integrity that you don’t feel every time you put on an album.

Is this all the direct result of Justin Sullivan and band adopting a new approach to recording after the previous three albums were hammered out live in a studio?  Taking their time, they have layered the music and addressed certain sonic-based aspects of the recording process to deliver what is a stunning example of what can be achieved in the studio.  Apparently the mere principle of familiarity has triggered this new direction.

Ghosts acts as a great bookend to this album retaining the quality and musical continuity that solidifies the album as a whole which showcases many highlights.  It’s a remarkable achievement when you listen back to an album and cannot identify a specific song that stands out from the others.

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