London experimental freakazoids Black Country, New Road have announced the details for their upcoming second studio album, Ants From Up There.
The follow up to their 2020 debut LP For the First Time, Ants From Up There will look to continue the band’s fast-evolving and frequently shifting dynamic as they edge ever closer to a coherent sound.
Along with the album, the seven-piece post-rock project has released the first preview of the LP with the new song ‘Chaos Space Marine’. Shout out to the honky-tonk, backwater, country-ass intro that the band pull together, complete with fiddle and some sweet saxophone. That gets replaced relatively quickly with a stately piano as Isaac Wood’s low growl comes to the fore. The only word I feel can accurately describe the song’s chorus is “galloping”, like the horses on the single art came to life and took off at full speed with the band trying to keep up.
“We threw in every idea anyone had with that song,” says Wood. “So the making of it was a really fast, whimsical approach – like throwing all the shit at the wall and just letting everything stick.” Wood also doesn’t mince words by calling the track “the best song we’ve ever written”.
I feel at one supremely confident and weirdly hesitant to call ‘Chaos Space Marine’ a country song. It very clearly has all those elements of the Bakersfield style, and whether the band are paying homage or taking the piss is uncertain. All that I know is that they go at it with full force, and that’s enough to convert me. Come for the violin trills, stay for the Billie Eilish reference.
It’s been a while since I’ve given BC, NR a fair shake, the last time being when they released the proper good acoustic version of ‘Track X’ from their debut. That one had some country twang to it as well, which makes me wonder if the band secretly harbour desires to change their style and become perhaps England’s first true-blue country band. I wouldn’t put my money on it, but if someone were to make a joke about what British country music would sound like, in all its wonky glory, I would imagine the result would sound something similar to ‘Chaos Space Marine’. Eat your heart out, Mumford and Sons.
Check out the audio for ‘Chaos Space Marine’ down below. Ants From Up There is set for a February 4 release.