New Model Army

While it burst from the same U.K. post-punk explosion that produced other such earnest and humorless flag wavers as U2 and The Alarm, New Model Army's continued to mine the battlefield long after the former dropped politics for messianic introspection and the latter proved to be just an excuse to wear civil war boots and puffy hair. With impassioned singer Justin Sullivan the only steady member throughout the band's 25-year history, NMA has maintained an admirable consistency, from its bass, drums and synth minimalism days to its acoustic Fort (Billy) Bragg protestations. And on numerous occasions, it's thrown down a single like "The Price" that transcends political ideology and proves irresistible to import-bin-scouring Yanks who just think they've stumbled onto a more ferocious version of the Teardrop Explodes. Considering the boiling anger over the Iraqi war, NMA's 1985 single "51st State" -- a frustrated assessment of Britain's allegiance to the United States -- could be a hit all over again in Europe, as could the anti-bully-boy anthem "Spirit of the Falklands." If that doesn't make you enlist in the NMA "street team" right there at the Big Fish Pub, how about the fact that the band's been covered by death metalists Cynic and Sepultura?


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