Something exciting is going on in the British rock underground. Good old-fashioned virtuosity combined with a sense of adventurism bring acts to the surface who set out to make indie rock interesting again.
Centred around the label Speedy Underground, acts like Black Midi (played Roskilde last year), Squid (playing Roskilde this year) and now this unusually named Cambridgeshire seven-piece have rediscovered the joys of shifting time signatures, fiddly solos and generally stretching their abilities and the audience’s expectations.
With only a couple of songs out and a whole lot of buzz to their name, Black Country, New Road are slowly and steadily conquering more and more territory and attention in indie circles.
Their debut single “Athens, France” sold out of its pressing in mere days. Second single, “Sunglasses”, follows suit on the wild ride, morphing from post-rock to post-punk to an explosion of free-jazzy noise (the band prominently features a saxophone and a violin). More music will surely follow in this wild wake.
Word of their chaotic live shows is spreading fast. Vocalist Isaac Wood is a magnetic figure. His vocal performance smacks of slam poetry like a weird mix of Jarvis Cocker, Ian Curtis and Mark E Smith. His vocals often intensify, nose-diving into a strained growl of desperation.
This is exciting music that breaks with the established forms. Expect unexpected U-turns all over. Expect punk energy, jazzy jams, poetry and wild intensity through it all. Black Country, New Road should be the band everybody is talking about in 2020.