Review: Black Country, New Road – Chaos Space Marine

On October 11th, the group said to be “the best band in the world” by The Quietus announced a new album and dropped a single completely out of the blue. Considering the slow rollout for their debut that was released in January, For the First Time, it was quite a surprise to see not only a new album in the works but a single along with the announcement. It won’t be releasing until February 2022, but that is still only a year and change after their last full release.

The self-described second-best Slint tribute act branches from the post-rock found on their debut while keeping the same instrumental composition on this track. Their lineup features lead singer and guitarist Isaac Wood, Georgia Ellery on violin, drummer Charlie Wayne, Lewis Evans on saxophone, Tyler Hyde on bass, May Kershaw on keyboards, and Luke Mark as a second guitarist. 

The brassy instrumentation and frantic, emotional vocals remain, but the influences here are quite different from what we heard in January. “Chaos Space Marine” wouldn’t be too out of place in a musical, taking elements from baroque pop and art rock. It has a grandiose, uplifting feel to it that wasn’t as present in their previous work, while still keeping the characteristics that gained them a cult following in 2019. Lyrically, this song is no less abstract than the tracks found on For the First Time, and in classic fashion includes a reference to Billie Eilish.
While short and sweet, this teaser track gives a peek into the substantial stylistic changes the band will be making on their next album. I’m excited to hear more from the group when their album Ants From Up There releases February 4th of next year.

About Leo Kasper

Leo is a sophomore from Chicago who has had a passion for music his whole life. From jazz rap to pop punk, Leo dabbles in essentially all genres. When not listening to music or playing guitar, Leo can be found on a couch somewhere on his phone.

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