Black Country, New Road – Live at Bush Hall

2023-06-04 07:00:01

by Oliver
on June 4, 2023
in Livealbum

Black Country, New Road don’t bother unnecessarily with the hype (which, after Isaac Wood left the stage, can’t be reproduced anyway) Ants From Up There up, but look with Live at Bush Hall straight into the future.

While the split from frontman Isaac Wood probably came as a shock to the majority of fans of the British high-flyers, it was subjectively good news – after all, Wood’s vocals and lyrics were, alternatively, the collective’s biggest Achilles’ heel.
While in this respect the starting point was created, polarizingly enough, so that the band, which had shrunk to a sextet as a result of this farewell, could kindly develop into a place where one would rather hear them than it For the First Time and Ants from Up There presented, but of course it was actually and obviously above all to clarify how Black Country, New Road even the changed circumstances (or actually, after the departure of Conor Browne from the 2018 disbanded Nervous Conditions cyclical reflection of a frontman fate that has already been suffered in a similar way).

Featuring all new material, the 15th and 16th December 2022 at the London Bush Hall was played and also recorded for the band’s first live document, it shows that the musical and creative survival instinct of the English is absolutely intact – and even more ideally – in the future it really seems to go hand in hand with personal wishful thinking .
In any case, in the balancing act between recognizable transformation including new options and recognizable retained character traits, the art rock songwriting primarily remains at the good, chamber music theatrical-dramatic pathos roots of Arcade Fire interested, but it is good for the aesthetics that bassist Taylor Hyde, saxophonist Lewis Evans and keyboardist May Kershaw (but not Jockstrap-violinist Georgia Ellery) split up the vocals, as they offer a broader range of vocals, in which one immediately feels familiar, but whose emotional access ignites more directly.

The songwriting of the combo remains great even without the previous bellwether, but is corrected by the Wood factor but raised to a higher level – and because the production of the recording also leaves nothing to be desired, feels Live at Bush Hall in a way even like veritable studio album number 3 in the Black Country, New Roaddiscography, which has successfully integrated the caesura into the curriculum vitae without any breaks – and which offers the willing fan relatively barrier-free, but by no means smooth edges and numerous new favorite numbers.

So stormy forward strumming and directly unpacking the wind instruments Up Song (of course not with Dragon Sound can keep up) the “Friends Forever“-Hug unpacks, so forgiving-melancholic closes Up Song (Reprise) at the other end the bracket more subversive, but the melodic adaptation of the Flaming Lips fmore freely admitting while The Boy Björk‘esque as open-structured as avant-garde, fairy-tale-like, lively and curious wanders through the lovable fairy-tale prog in several chapters. I Won’t Always Love You meanders bumpy next to the track and then merges into one Radiohead‘like folk groove slide, meanwhile Across the Pond Friend jubilant Indie crooked and forced very charismatic leads to a grand, polyphonic gesture.
Laughing Song is a baroque approach to the pompous and The Wrong Trousers rocks up a bit pretentiously to form a community panorama. Turbines / Pigs is already claiming for itself, from the intimacy to the larger-than-life climax of being the preliminary masterpiece of this reboot that doesn’t sound so much like a transitional phase, before Dancers looking at the starry sky, swaying into harmonious catharsis. At least here is this incarnation of Black Country, New Road then really not far away from having found yourself half-new in perfect form. However, the theory that the split from frontman Isaac Wood could have been the best thing that could have happened to the British seems to be true.

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