New Model Army is a group that has been playing music since 1980. They were part of the punk wave in music, though they are usually classified as post-punk, probably due to their musicality. They came out of Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K. Like much of the punk music of the era their music focused on political issues of the time, but didn’t get much airplay in the United States. The standard explanation is that this was because their topics usually focused on English politics, which was considered somewhat obscure to U.S. audiences. Another factor was that the U.S. refused the band work permits for a while in the mid-1980s, largely because of those politics, which is focused on working class issues and anti-Thatcher themes, much along the lines of Billy Bragg.
The band has changed personnel over the years with the mainstay being lead vocalist Justin Sullivan, who formed the band with the collaboration of poet, novelist, illustrator, tattooist, and spoken word artist Joolz Denby. A large part of NMA’s loyal following over the past 30+ years, which is substantial in the U.K., is due to the quality of their music and its intelligence which, while oftentimes spare, can also include acoustic, folk-rock, electric-violin, and other elements. They tend to keep the music interesting and their lyrics intelligent.
Their new album is entitled “Between Wine & Blood.” Here is the song “Sunrise” to give you a flavor of what you may have been missing all this time. They are probably one of the best bands that you never heard.