Black Country, New Road: Ants from Up There Album Review

“Ants from Up There” by Black Country, New Road is an extraordinary second album that takes listeners on a journey of emotions and musical exploration. This London-based band has crafted an album that balances softer melodies with their signature challenging and perplexing style. 

In this review, we will delve into the various aspects of this album, from its overall composition to individual tracks, production, lyrics, and more.

Album Overview

“Ants from Up There” stands as a testament to Black Country, New Road’s growth and innovation as a band. The album follows a progression from gentler melodies to an exhilarating climax. This dynamic arrangement keeps listeners engaged throughout the album’s entirety. The band’s willingness to experiment with their sound while maintaining their core identity is evident in every track.

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Track Analysis

The album’s opening track, “Intro,” acts as a precursor to what’s to come, leading seamlessly into what the band claims is their “best song we’ve ever written.” This statement holds true as “And Though England Is Mine” introduces the album with its enchanting lilt and introspective lyrics. Tracks like “Chaos Space Marine” showcase the band’s ability to blend diverse musical influences, resulting in a unique sound that defies categorization.

Production and Instrumentation

“Ants from Up There” benefits from meticulous production, allowing each instrument to shine while contributing to the album’s overall texture. The band’s choice of instrumentation, including strings and horns, adds depth and richness to the tracks. The album’s production quality enhances the emotional impact of each song, drawing listeners into the intricate sonic landscape.

Songwriting and Lyrics

Isaac Wood’s songwriting delves into themes of love, vulnerability, and emotional turmoil. The recurring metaphor of the Concorde jet adds a layer of complexity to the lyrics, connecting personal experiences to broader concepts. Wood’s ability to weave intricate narratives and craft vivid imagery ensures that each song is thought-provoking and evocative.

Vocal Performance

Wood’s vocal performance on “Ants from Up There” is both captivating and emotive. His delivery oscillates between vulnerability and intensity, conveying the emotional depth of the lyrics. The variety of vocal styles he employs complements the album’s musical diversity, further engaging listeners with his expressive storytelling.

Comparisons and Influences

Black Country, New Road’s evolution is evident in their departure from their post-punk origins to a more emotionally resonant style. The album’s sound and themes draw parallels to works like “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” and “Teens of Denial.” The band’s willingness to embrace emotion and explore uncharted musical territories sets them apart in a landscape of indie rock.

Emotional Impact

“Ants from Up There” excels in its emotional impact, guiding listeners through an array of feelings. The album captures the complexities of relationships, personal growth, and self-discovery. Each song’s emotional resonance is amplified by the band’s musical arrangements and Wood’s heartfelt vocals.

Target Audience

The album’s intricate compositions, thought-provoking lyrics, and emotional depth make it a captivating experience for listeners who appreciate introspective and genre-defying music. Fans of indie rock and those who enjoy delving into the emotional narratives of songs will find much to appreciate in “Ants from Up There.”


While “Ants from Up There” is an exceptional album, it may not resonate with listeners seeking more straightforward or conventional musical structures. The band’s willingness to experiment might be challenging for some, particularly those looking for easily digestible melodies.

Personal Insights

“Ants from Up There” resonates with me on a profound level due to its intricate storytelling and emotional honesty. The album’s ability to seamlessly weave together diverse musical influences while maintaining a sense of coherence is a testament to the band’s artistry. The departure of Isaac Wood adds an intriguing layer of complexity to the album’s narrative, leaving listeners pondering the significance of the breakup motif.


“Ants from Up There” is a remarkable album that showcases Black Country, New Road’s growth, innovation, and emotional depth. Through meticulous production, intricate instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyrics, the band crafts a sonic journey that resonates with listeners. While the departure of Isaac Wood introduces a sense of uncertainty, the album remains a powerful testament to the band’s artistic vision and their ability to create music that explores the intricacies of the human experience. For those who appreciate music that challenges norms and evokes emotions, “Ants from Up There” is a must-listen.

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