July 12, 2022

black midi - "Sugar/Tzu"

On Friday, black midi will release their new album, Hellfire, and today they've shared the final lead single, "Sugar/Tzu."

Over relentless, charged-up rhythms, black midi don't just march forward with their new single "Sugar/Tzu," but storm the front with serious fire and urgent melody. Frantic guitar riffs are balanced with punishing drum beats that race ahead at break-neck speeds full of white-knuckled intensity as the band ups the anti for what progressive jazz-punk came come to mean in 2022. As leaders of their scene, the pressure is on for them to keep raising the bar and "Sugar/Tzu" does just that to the most extreme extent. You could easily classify this as a hardcore track for the speed and aggression on display here (the blast beats are truly something!), but it's the dexterity that really puts things into focus. The track starts off with a ring announcer preparing us for a battle ahead, but the band quickly ditch their gloves and move in straight for the kill. Leaving nothing to chance here, this feels like the best song to fully encompass the band's range and they waste no time showing off their skills almost to the point where it sounds as if things are about to fly off the rails, however in true masters of their craft form, the band reels it all back in to confirm their control just when it seems like all hell will break loose. The usual speak/sing vocal delivery acts as the smooth gloss over their otherwise chaotic approach, but there's no doubt that black midi are giving us all they have, cramming as much into a single song as possible. The results are massive.

Hellfire is out Friday, July 15 via Rough Trade.

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