Black Country, New Road Say Hello and Say Goodbye to ‘Ants From Up There’ – The Suffolk Journal
“And though England be mine / I must leave it all behind” declares Isaac Wood, like a theatrical sailor leading his ship through the storm on the track “Chaos Space Marine”, Wood’s first vocal appearance on the second album of the group “Ants From Up”. The.”
Since their debut in 2021, Black Country, New Road have banded together with the new class of British post-punk, including bands Black Midi, Dry Cleaning, Squid and what appears to be 2,000 other bands exhibiting post-punk influences. rock and spoken verse. .
With their latest album, Black Country, New Road sounds so out of this class that it’s triumphant. It is the most magnificent record of this wave, thanks to Wood, who has exchanged his studies of spoken characters and his erotic fantasies at Cirque du Soleil for beautiful and rich melodies. Misery never seemed so glorious.
“I was created to love you…/Can’t you tell? Wood dreads “Concorde,” holding his waning pride in his left hand and the microphone in his right while ignoring his delusion.
The song uses the symbol of Concorde, a European aeronautical project which ended in failure. The plane can be found on the album cover for unknown reasons, although Wood’s sermons seem to point to an analogy in which feelings of human frailty can seem so colossal.
“And then Isaac will suffer / Concorde will fly,” Wood croons as he drops under the landing gear. The song’s histrionic buildup, reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s “Funeral,” ignites a flame in the band’s triumph.
The “Funeral” connection is also not at hand, as the group referred to becoming “obsessedwith Arcade Fire during the recording of the LP. You can hear her on “Good Will Hunting,” probably the band’s most useful track to date, with backup vocals that feel akin to Régine Chassagne.
With their second album, the idea that Black Country and New Road impose themselves as one of the best contemporary groups is not unfair. The band are victorious throughout the record, flying above Concorde and reaching new heights, leading you to believe this is Black Country, New Road’s masterpiece, marking their first step into indie-rock royalty.
But you have to remember Wood’s weighty entry on the record – “I’ve got to leave it all behind” – which feels much more pressing after Wood announced his departure of the band, the week before the album, stating, “I also feel sad and scared.”
It’s hard to imagine Black Country, New Road without Wood’s writing and performing. I remember finding my own footsteps in the cold city air last winter with “Track X” on repeat.
The hesitation and real fear that can be heard in Wood’s voice as he recalls the love he professed in front of Black Noon and the thought of proving his father wrong was so raw it made me stung hundreds of times, although the sting came with great relief.
We collect these artists over time, using them to write our journal entries when we lack the courage to write them ourselves. We yearn to see our thoughts sung in verse, allowing us to no longer feel alone. We take pleasure in it so that everything seems a little understandable because before it is written, it is frightening and shameful. It is not to escape our pain, but to swim in it. Wood handed us a life jacket so we could swim to safety in our agony.
Still, it’s hard not to be excited about Black Country’s next chapter, New Road. Although it’s incredibly unpredictable, it’s extremely exciting, because without Wood, the band still holds together.
“For the First Time” felt dependent on Wood’s songwriting, but “Ants From Up There” is an ensemble piece, making Wood only an addition to a beautifully formed orchestra of Tyler Hyde (bass), Lewis Evans (saxophone), Georgia Ellery (violin), May Kershaw (keyboards), Charlie Wayne (drums) and Luke Mark (guitar).
On “Basketball Shoes,” the album is closer, with Wood talking about the Concorde flying through his bedroom, tearing his house to shreds. He fears evolution saying, “We all work on ourselves and pray that others won’t care how much we’ve changed.
The song is as huge as the Concorde itself, consisting of three interwoven verses with a glorious composition. Here, Wood lets go of our hands while delivering his most remarkable performance yet.
If “Chaos Space Marine” has Wood sailing his ship straight into the wave of the storm, “Basketball Shoes” has Wood coming ashore, leaving the storm behind.
“Ants From Up There” is a triumphant end as well as a beautiful beginning for one of the greatest groups of the moment. There can be rough seas there, but the ride is far from over and believe me, you don’t want to miss it.
“The Ants Up There” is now available to stream on all music platforms.