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Black Country, New Road: “Ants From Up Here” – Album Review

The bands’ name originally derived from that of a random Wikipedia generator, but their music is anything but thrown together.

Ever since BC, NR arrived in the Brixton, Windmill scene in 2019, their post-rock soundscapes of inflected jazz shook the UK to its core. Unprecedented work of beautifully designed pieces of modern music, it is a meticulous approach incorporating harmony and unity. melding the classically trained with the self-taught within the 7-piece powerhouse group.

Their debut album, “For the first time” sparked an incessant following in 2021, simply because the band showed no barriers in their way. The sheer scope of each album portrays a wonderful story of colour. While their debut shifted further into the spoken word category with a dramatic instrumental in support, their follow-up, “Ants From Up There” features a more pragmatic approach – but not without their jazzy orchestral additions and effervescent musicality that seems improvised.

I thought it would be the most opportune of moments to listen the full length of the album on my commute to work this morning, and wow. For 40 minutes, I was lost in the narrative. Almost close to a fully fledged masterpiece for me, had it not been for me almost missing my stop!

My honourable mentions have to be “Concorde” and “Good Will Hunting,” where the light piano trill, sultry sax and tranquil violin accompaniment take it back to a compelling Space Oddity-80s style that make it so wonderfully nostalgic.

Seemingly archaic in nature, it remains bright, upbeat and on brand with raw post-punk.

A band distinct in their own world, I’m beginning to understand why they’ve cultivated such a following under such little time. Black Country, New Road are my new favourites this week.

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