“Ants From Up There” blows fans away


Curtesy of Bandcamp website

Ants From Up There album cover.


Black Country, New Road is an extremely exciting and promising indie/alternative rock band, and their album, “Ants From Up There,” which was released on February 4, 2022, is by all means, a masterpiece.

Black Country, New Road consists of members Isaac Wood on guitar and vocals, Tyler Hyde on bass guitar, Lewis Evans on saxophone, Georgia Ellery on violin, Charlie Wayne on drums, May Kershaw on keyboard, and Luke Mark on guitar. Wood, the frontman, left the band a week before the release of Ants From Up There due to mental health issues, which plays a large part in the album’s story. The lyrics, all written by Wood, describe a long-distance relationship that is falling apart and all the emotions that go along with that.

Musically, all seven members of Black Country are responsible for writing and coming up with new ideas. As a result, Ants From Up There has a very lush and natural sound, most likely due to the band’s instrumentally diverse lineup with Evans’ saxophone, Ellery’s violin, and Kershaw’s keyboard all adding a unique touch to the standard rock band ensemble. Furthermore, the band’s ability to play everything live adds to the album’s natural feeling, as all the musical elements seem to flow seamlessly together. Another notable aspect about the instrumentation on the album is that all the songs successfully build upon themselves and crescendo to achieve an incredibly emotional and memorable climax.

Vocally, Wood’s voice may initially feel strange to the listener due to his deep and raw singing style. Although his singing style is unique, Wood is able to convey emotions that allow the listener to easily connect to what he’s singing. Another aspect of Wood’s vocal contributions that makes him unique are his extremely memorable lyrics. With lines like “She has Billie Eilish style,” from the song “Good Will Hunting,” “Don’t eat your toast in my bed,” from “Bread Song,” and the many metaphorical references to the Concorde jet throughout the album, most notably on the song “Concorde” with lyrics such as “And I’ll come through like a child, Concorde and I die free this time.”

It’s hard to pick my top three songs from Ants From Up There as every song rivals each other, but if I had to choose I’d pick “Bread Song,” “The Place Where He Inserted the Blade,” and “Basketball Shoes.” I think “Bread Song” and “The Place Where He Inserted the Blade” are some of the best uses of tension in music I’ve ever heard, and “Basketball Shoes,” being the 12-minute climactic album closer, contains three different sections which perfectly encapsulate every emotion present on the rest of the album.