BLACK COUNTRY NEW ROAD – ” Ants From Up There ” Best Albums Of 2022

Posted: December 6, 2022 in MUSIC

Black Country, New Road barely waited a year after putting out their acclaimed debut, For the first time, to follow it with Ants From Up There. Just ahead of its release, singer/guitarist Isaac Wood left the band, citing mental health issues, and while his loss will certainly be keenly felt going forward, his presumably final statement with the band is a glorious whirlwind, 58 minutes of ambitious, anthemic art rock and chamber pop that captures your heart and doesn’t let go. “I’ve kind of accepted that this might be the best thing that I’m ever part of for the rest of my life,” bassist Tyler Hyde says. “And that’s fine.”

Black Country, New Road‘s sound is bold and progressive, unconcerned with imitation or revivalism. The six-piece paint classical and jazz instrumentation on a deconstructed rock canvas, layering atop nuanced lyricism that conveys sharp narratives and achingly-sincere emotions.

It’s a heady combination, but one that makes a riveting antidote to their post-punk peers’ seemingly-endless obsession with aping genres that lived and died 40 years ago. It’s hard to overstate just how good “Ants From Up There” is. It’s not quite Black Country, New Road’s masterpiece, as the band are too young and raw for it to be that perfect. However, it’s tough to find much fault with it. The sprawling nature of the tracks, especially the final two, makes for staggeringly compelling listening.

The disregard for conventional structure and instrumentation, combined with the adroit, sincere lyrics, makes “Ants From Up There” one of the richest and most emotionally-honest albums released by a young British band for quite some time. In a world that seems content to reanimate the past perpetually, Black Country, New Road are daring to dream up something different.

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