Less than a year after releasing their great debut album, Black Country, New Road have already announced a follow-up due in early 2022.
In February 2021, Black Country, New Road released their excellent debut album, For the First Time. In February 2022, they'll return with their second album, Ants from Up There. Today, in addition to the album announcement, the band shared the lead single "Chaos Space Marine." Like many of their peers in the scene, Black Country, New Road have a spark for combing post-punk, free jazz, and acoustic jams into relentless tracks that burst with energy and a bit of (controlled) disorder. Their tracks are alive with energy and propel forward at remarkable speeds, all while keeping things under a tight focus. "Chaos Space Marine" continues this path forward with an equal sense of urgency and passion as their previous sounds. These U.K. experimentalists show no signs of slowing down here, either in terms of their ability to crank out quality songs or in the beats per minute, and it's easy to think of how well this song will fit into their repertoire. Horns, keys, and acoustic guitar and packed to the brim here as vocals feel rushed, but never on the brink of collapse. Once again, the band shows extreme control under mounting rhythmic pressure. Frontman Isaac Wood calls it the best song Black Country, New Road have ever written: “We threw in every idea anyone had with that song. So the making of it was a really fast, whimsical approach — like throwing all the shit at the wall and just letting everything stick.” It's clear that this track is jam-packed with artistic ideas and all of them fit neatly together into a beautifully complex puzzle.
Ants from Up There is out February 4 via Ninja Tune.