Earlier this year when I introduced Black Country, New Road to the pages of Breaking More Waves it was already clear that they weren’t heading for the mainstream. A few days after that piece they released their debut track proper and as far as my ears could tell, the oddly apostrophied Athen’s, France didn’t quite live up to the hype that the band had picked up. It wasn't bad, but perhaps it wasn't as artily bonkers as I wanted.
Now however we get Sunglasses, an oddball mini-epic that clocks in at a Spotify unfriendly 9 minutes long. Ironically so far it has had more plays than the shorter edit version also released to the streaming platform. The track has already become one of the highlights of the seven piece’s live set; a sprawling beast that jumps from downbeat slo-mo post-rock to spacey sax interludes to cacophonous breakdowns to lip-curling pumping guitar riffage all topped off with wavering spoken word / shouted ramblings that reference Fonz from TV show Happy Days, Scott Walker and Kanye West plus posh Hampshire school Bedales. It’s utterly baffling but in the same stroke utterly brilliant.
Black Country, New Road - Sunglasses