Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gothtober- Black Country, New Road : "For the first time"

Post-punk can span from many things . It emerged in the 1970s as a more art ful way to add thought from a somewhat cruder punk rock movement. It is thinking man's punk in many ways. The revival that came into popularity a decade pretty much just found itself content with being Joy Division cover bands. This band is an example of how the best of the genre seems to be now comings from England. This group embraces the tension and inner darkness and explore how to convey starkness with more sonic colors. It opens with an instrumental, but when the vocals come in on the second they have a desperation to their almost spoken narrative that is not unlike Xiu Xiu, though  the delivery is more spoken than sung. 

They get noisier on the more chaotic "Science Fair' . Jazz is scrambled into the mix, though the unsettling sound of a nervous break down on the horizon can be heard. "Sunglasses' is the first song where, he sings. It has a more sonic quality, but the horns also go wild and create a wall of wild geese that attack the song . But this song, is almost ten minutes and they make the most to dabble in all kinds of dynamics. In the lyrics they reference Richard Hell, which shows the debt they know is to be paid to the era of punk that inspired this. Things get heavy in a very Swans like manner , though not as dark , yet still pretty unsettled. This is almost like the progressive rock version of post-punk.    

"Track X" is more introspective. All of the songs have a wandering quality that falls some where between free jazz and jam rock that adds another layer to their sound. This time things are moody , but not dark. There is droning ambiance to this song. If this was all guitars and no horns then it might fit more neatly into the post-punk box you are expecting here. There is an eastern European influence to the last song, that gives it almost a ska like skip in it's step.  I will give this album an 9.5, it's pretty incredible. 

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