‘Ants From Up There’ includes diverse and beautiful tracks, lyrics



Black Country, New Road’s second album, “Ants From Up There,” comprises diverse tracks and meaningful lyrics and is consistent with their origin.

Peter Cox, City Life Editor

Black Country, New Road, an English indie rock band, released its second album, “Ants From Up There” four days after the lead singer announced he was leaving the band. Formed in 2018, Black Country, New Road was made up of seven members at the time of the album’s recording, which debuted at No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart. Additionally, the album has received high praise from Pitchfork, NME and The New York Times.   

Incorporating beautiful and varied tracks, the album features violin, piano and saxophone accentuating the more genre traditional sounds of guitar, bass and drums. The theming of the album is comparatively more typical, following the emotional ups and downs of a failing relationship.  

The weighty and meaningful lyrics range from emo ennui to science fiction dramas. The first song on the album, “Chaos Space Marine,” perfectly encapsulates these themes. The song opens with the lyric “And though England is mine, I must leave it all behind,” this itself is a reference to The Smiths song “Still Ill.” The lyrics move from describing sailors “who sing of London,” to the singer declaring “I’m a Chaos Space Marine,” a faction from the tabletop game Warhammer 40,000

The song acts as a thesis statement for the album, defining a variety of metaphors and allusions, many of which are referenced throughout the album. Concorde, a now-retired French passenger jet, is the name used for the love interest being pursued throughout the album. “Ignore the hole I’ve dug again,” is a lyric directly pulled from the start of “Haldern,” the sixth track, which is probably a reference to Minecraft.

 In his statement when leaving the band, Isaac Woods, the person responsible for most of this striking lyrical imagery, cited mental health concerns as the primary reason for his departure. The remaining six members have stated that they won’t perform the music they made with Woods but will continue to record and tour.

Having so effectively bucked stereotypes of the space they originate from, Black Country, New Roads has the potential to redefine how rock bands function. Based on the quality of “Ants From Up There,” I’m incredibly excited to see what the members of the band can produce together.