I really hate seeing old punk bands with only one original member left and they end up being praised by 12-year-olds with bad hair and meatheads. No thanks Jerry Only, I would not like to buy crimson ghost incense that just smells like your spandex when I see “The Misfits.” Aging punks should take some tips from lead singer Justin Sullivan of New Model Army, who since 1980 has been regurgitating amazing new albums with a soulful, yet militant punk rock sound.
Their new album, Today Is A Good Day, keeps true to their Celtic punk goodness, but also brings in an edgy metal vibe thanks to the crunchy guitar sound. Beginning with the title track, the album starts off with chaotic recordings of Wall Street crashing and quickly goes into a fast paced tune that incorporates the stock market bell into the beat. Fancy! “Mambo Queen Of The Sandstone City” is the best track on the album. Mixing mambo maraca beats and energetic punk melodies, this love song is pure ear candy because of its catchiness and enticing lyrics. “Ocean Rising” is from Justin Sullivan’s solo album Navigating By The Stars, but this recording has an electronic feel to it instead of the original stringy acoustic version. Though songs like “La Push” do outshine other tracks like “Peace Is Only” and “Disappeared”, they keep a good balance between the tranquility and intensity of the album.
Today Is A Good Day is also visually pleasing because of the red, white, and black artwork done by Sullivan’s partner in crime Joolz Denby. Flowers and fishes may not fit perfectly with the rough side of New Model Army, but it works with the band’s organic way of life. This album really shows how much the band has matured throughout the years because they don’t confine themselves in the walls of three chord songs that they started in. They’re still a punk band, but with classical, folk, and metal elements to stray away from the rest of the wrinkled punks that make the same album over and over again.
In A Word: Rusk