A journey of emotions leaving the rules of genre far behind
Melissa Darragh
10:48 1st February 2021

In a year in which we’ve come to expect the unexpected, the chaos-fuelled sound of Black Country, New Road provides the perfect soundtrack. Jam-packed with dark wit and intensity, their long-awaited debut For The First Time brings us a passionate yet turbulent experience - as pleasantly weird and wonderful as you would expect from your favourite avant-garde post-punk septet. 

Rising in popularity through the emerging South London scene, the band have accumulated a cult following - and this album is cold hard proof that they are well worth the hype. Recorded alongside Andy Savours of My Bloody Valentine, the album packs a real punch. Uninterested in the search for a three-minute-hit, Black Country, New Road show that they are unafraid to build their own path, focusing instead on longer-form tracks with enough action and intrigue to draw you back time and time again. 

Using their seven-strong lineup to their advantage, the band create huge contrasts in their sound, exploring and adapting to create a stunning synergy as an ensemble. Beautifully chaotic, the album includes saxophone breakdowns and quiet interludes alongside heavy bass notes and drums. Sometimes sombre and romantic-sounding, sometimes shocking and head-bang worthy, this is an album that will take you on a journey of emotions, leaving the rules of genre far behind.

A glorious free-form exploration of sound and genre, For The First Time brings a refreshing explosion of energy with a hugely compelling sound. Not everyone can incorporate complex rhythms and dissonance throughout their tracks with such a cool sense of cohesion, but that’s just the start of what makes this young band so exciting. As captivating as it is striking, For The First Time is a thrilling glimpse into the world of Black Country, New Road: true storytellers who have captured the passion and intensity of our cynical times.

For The First Time arrives 5 February via Ninja Tune. 

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.


Photo: Press