New Model Army: Nelson (guitar, bass guitar, drums); Dave Blomberg (guitar, bass guitar); Michael Dean (drums, percussion); Justin Sullivan, Dean White.
Personnel: Justin Sullivan (vocals, guitar); Dave Bloomberg (guitar); Dean White (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: New Model Army.
Author: New Model Army.
Anyone who's seen New Model Army live knows the fierce conviction of their studio work is not only matched but often surpassed on stages. And finally, 18 years in, comes this ultimate document.
The double-CD ...& Nobody Else blows their previous live album (1991's Raw Melody Men) out of water like a whale slurps plankton. You can't help but notice the immediate excitement in this flawless recording, so faithful you can all but see the banks of speakers, amps, and drums, an overhanging balcony, and the cheering, occasionally singing crowd. The set choices also reflect a classic band that's nevertheless in its most interesting, inspired period. They're even more remarkable now, having opened up their style so much on The Love of Hopeless Causes and Strange Brotherhood. Both these records are favored over oldies during this two-hour expedition, with spice added from the carefully chosen, often risk-taking older material.
You also notice the amazing pacing this group has. Most bands couldn't last two hours and 26 songs over two sets without wearing, but NMA continually change tacks. They typically raise the atmosphere to a fever pitch, only to soothe the worried soul with soul-searching ballads. Through it all, ace songwriter Justin Sullivan sings like a man who's out to change your life, not just entertain you -- a tour de force of conviction that never wavers over such a long duration. And the rest of the band remains a fervent yet supple machine.
The sad thing about this release is that NMA's following is mostly in Continental Europe, where this Strange Brotherhood tour was recorded. But those fans the band made from its frequent U.S. tours '85-'94 must have this -- and anyone else who cares about frickin' modern rock in an alive context, too! ~ Jack Rabid