Single Review – Black Country, New Road – Chaos Space Marine
Aran Grover reviews Black Country, New Road’s new single, Chaos Space Marine
Although with characteristic Classical and Jazz tinges all over this brand-new single from the mysterious 7-piece Black Country, New Road, their sound has developed significantly since their debut album For The First Time released earlier this year. With another album already on the way, this band have proven to be a musical powerhouse, with a quick turnaround on new material. They keep fans on their toes, unable to expect what will come next. However, for some, this is the exact opposite. Live shows have predominantly been populated with material appearing on the forthcoming album since before the debut had even released. Having heard some of this myself, I can only be more excited for this album.
subdued, but anticipatory staccato piano chords which progress into a grand, energetic instrumental
This single however, sports some typically BCNR instrumentation; strings, saxophone, the whole ensemble. It’s a gripping and fun intro with a catchy tune which appears later on in the track. Following this, we hear subdued, but anticipatory staccato piano chords which progress into a grand, energetic instrumental. Singer Isaac Wood’s subdued vocals ascend with the track into a strained roar, characteristic of many of their live shows, and full of personality. This song in particular was a highlight live, as the band perform a synchronised leg-kick after the rhythm halts in the first chorus, oddly fitting for a track with such a wide gamut of influences, ranging from Classical, Jazz, and even sounding like Arcade Fire at points.
The lyrics detail the story of a surrealist character known as the ‘Chaos Space Marine’. If you’re a Warhammer fan, you may recognize this as such. It revolves around a love story for this character, a disgraced sci-fi soldier, seeking to earn back his honour or abandon his life of violence, yearning for a romantic connection.
BCNR with this single present a perhaps more refined sound than their debut, the song is a radio-friendly three and a half minutes long compared with the usual 6-12 minute length songs for which they are so often known. This move demonstrates a more commercial viability for the new material and a wider appeal, whilst maintaining their penchant for strangely insightful and interesting lyrics . I believe this album is going to be a huge step forwards for Black Country, New Road, and they continue to be a hugely exciting new voice in modern music.
The new album, Ants from up There, Releases February 4th 2022