Black Country, New Road sounds like a proper filthy juggernaut of a band, a real experience to behold. At times, colossal metal riffs mangle with frenetic jazz freakouts; occasionally film-noir string motifs motored into the urgent present with a razortight rhythm section.
In times of unpredictability in the most diverse sectors, of broken routines, of uncertain future and changed normality, it becomes relatively urgent to give stage to disconcerting, challenging and label-free music. Black Country, New Road is a serious case of uncompromising rock, from studio freedom to electrifying stage performance, from punk ferocity to jazz imposition, but not only, making London’s septet one of the most unexpected revelations of 2020.
This is not just about seven young people (four boys and three girls) raising instruments to strident decibel levels, it is also a demonstration that guitars and the reinvention of rock have not fallen into disuse in Generation Z. If in 2019 we witnessed the frenetic epilepsy of the Black Midi, we may now be faced with a new phenomenon of youthful rock energy without limits, but with many unexplored borders. The same Black Midi that in December 2020 went on a London stage next to the Black Country, New Road for an unprecedented performance where the two groups presented a series of versions of Wham! and Mariah Carey.
“Sunglasses” published in 2019, is a song revealing the skill of the seven musicians, involving the chaos of several urban extremes, where the violin embarks on sweet classical melodies, marked by a bohemian saxophone and marginal feedbacks. In a context of diverse composition, placed by several influences and seven distinct minds, the robust British spoken-word of multiple contemporary references is highlighted, in a space where the band seeks to sculpt and confront time. Black Country, New Road is one of the most promising bands in British music in the near future and an unquestionable justification for a must-see night at ZDB’s Aquarium. JH