Black Country, New Road – “Track X”

What do you do when the music press says you’re “the best band in the world” and you have only put out a couple of tracks?

For London’s Black Country, New Road, its strategy has been to hunker down during the pandemic and patiently wait to unveil its music to the world. When the album “For the First Time” finally arrived, it seemed like it had never gone away. The record feels urgent and timely, a reflection of our unsettled psyches during the pandemic. The sound pushes the audience to focus, separating the different layers in order to make sense of the whole. Songs are long and repetitive and don’t follow traditional pop-rock structures. So it is a surprise – and a welcome one – that this seven-piece experimental rock outfit emerged from relative anonymity in 2019 and is claiming to occupy a lofty position in the pantheon of tomorrow’s artists to watch.

Best band in the world? Not yet, but it definitely has something to say.

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