A middle-aged man driving to his corporate IT job while listening to MP3 rips of his old New Model Army albums.
And writing about it on his blog.
I’ve loved this band since 1984 – angry as any three-chord punk outfit, but with an intelligence and versatility that most punks could only dream of… by turns hard and loud, then lyrical and quiet (although never soft); equally able to scrape away at the raw nerve endings of the conscience, or drop a simple love song to well-loved friends and places; and always, always literate, heartfelt and thoughtful. (The name was that given to Cromwell’s army; Justin Sullivan, co-founder and primary songwriter, comes from an English Quaker background.)
Here are just a few of the reasons that I believe NMA was and is one of the best bands ever:
“These cities are illusions of some triumph over Nature’s laws / we’ve seen the iron carcass rust and buildings topple into dust…” – I Love the World (NB: this is not a reference to 9/11 – the song is much older.)
“We are old, we are young, we are in this together / vagabonds and children, prisoners forever… the years go past, the times go by / but still this childhood romance will never die.” – Vagabonds
“Moving through the world at obsession speed… Love it is a key that unlocks the door, but you never know what’s waiting behind.” – Fate
“Nothing is as cruel as the righteousness of innocence…” – Purity
“How do we tell the people in the white coats enough is enough?” – White Coats
“The affair it is over, the passion is dead / she [Nature] stares at us now with ice in her eyes… wounded and scarred she lies silent in pain / raped and betrayed in the cold acid rain / and I wish… we could start over again” – Ballad
Writing this, I realize that I had to add a tag for “music” – which means that in over eight months of blogging here I have not even touched on one of my greatest passions! Expect this to change. (I have done some posting on things musical in my old LiveJournal, but I really don’t use that account except to comment on other people’s LJs, and nobody reads it. I may bring a few of the best posts over here so that they can actually see the light of day.)