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Black Country, New Road

Music / Punk, Jazz / London, United Kingdom

Even without lots of online hype and promotion, things can happen very quickly for some artists. Black Country, New Road demonstrate how a band can, without breaking a sweat, carve out its own niche with original compositions, seasoned just right with time-tested nuggets of post-rock wisdom. Producer Dan Carey (who is behind Black Midi's Schlagenheim, among others) was game right away when he heard the six-piece play at The Brixton Windmill in London, and so he went right ahead and worked with them on their first EP Athen's, France, released early this year.

The band combines complex guitars, jazz interludes, violins and saxes, but also improvisations, frenzied vocals, and spoken-word bits, all over the course of a few minutes. And all the while, they never veer into the pretentious. Is this what Xiu Xiu would sound like as math rock professors, or Jamie Stewart doing vocals for Slint? Who cares—the main thing is that we get to hear this sound now.

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