Black Country, New Road release their anticipated first single “Athen's, France" through Speedy Wunderground today, to coincide with their performance at Best Fit's annual week-long festival of new music this evening.
The enigmatic London-based six-piece lay their flaws on the line in a jagged six-minute saunter of raw twists in course. The band say their debut details “a spectacular return to bad form; a romantic encounter; and a chronic fear of intercourse”.
Lead singer Isaac's unnerving vocal wavers like Mark E. Smith as he staggers through cynical references to Ariana Grande and a playful mimic of Phoebe Bridgers (the line "why do you sing with an English accent? / I guess it's too late to change it now" from her track "Motion Sickness") alongside uneasy Gang of Four-esque jangling guitars. Throughout the track's vivid phases, his vocal intensifies, nose-diving into a strained growl of desperation. The track's final development jolts into a steep digression of brass-filled snare marches, recalling Neutral Milk Hotel.
Having shared stages with Goat Girl, Bo Ningen, and Damo Suzuki, Black Country, New Road are the rousing, intellectual post-punk presence we've been yearning for.