January 21st | Thekla

A name that has stood out amidst the endless sea of ‘new bands for the new year’ playlists, Black Country New Road are much more than a number to call in ‘I saw them before they were big’ bingo.

A fragment turned statement, their name seems dislodged from an existing sentence, left incomplete for you to rethink potential meanings. It offers a fitting starting point for a dive into the band’s sprawling psychodramas. Until recently the band have mainly been a word-of-mouth phenomenon, having minimal online presence and only releasing two singles so far. That these releases have been through Speedy Wunderground (Black Midi, Squid, PVA), certifies BCNR’s status amongst the vanguard of British bands for the new decade.

Recent recordings of shows at Brixton’s Windmill offer an intimate glimpse of what BCNR can do. The camera is filled by singer Isaac’s attempts to reach into and embody the characters whose psychologies he maps. Both live and on record, each track seems to be its own performance, directed by the literary nature of these lyrics. As streams of consciousness, they inhabit a broad sonic palette which responds to their ebb and flow.

Recalling the experimental vitality of post-punk bands like The Pop Group and the structural intuition of Slint, BCNR offer a fresh experience amidst the craft ale post-punk boom. They are a band who could lay down the hardcore for what is to come.

See Black Country New Road play ‘Sunglasses’ live here: