Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. 100
    If the interplay between the band’s instruments makes gleeful mincemeat of genre, singing guitarist Isaac Wood’s equally remarkable lyrics regularly float to the top of the mix. Half-spoken, half-sung, they riff on granular scene references (“I told you I loved you in front of Black Midi”) and Gen-Z witticisms, but pack in plenty of timeless tenderness and anomie.
  2. 100
    Their peak may be years away yet, but this is still some of the most exciting music you’ll hear until then; I’m not sure what more you could ask of a debut.
  3. Feb 5, 2021
    90
    For the First Time maintains a well-tempered intensity refined in its delivery but honest in its angst. Black Country, New Road show us what a "rock band" or "rock outfit" can achieve on their debut. For those bands labeled as experimental, we now have an expectation and a new benchmark.
  4. Feb 5, 2021
    90
    A record that far surpasses the necessity of any and all comparisons. With their highly-anticipated record, this ballistic band birthed from the Brixton Windmill have constructed their own world, where self-abnegation abounds and anxiety festers, yet experimental ingenuity shines a light through all its darkness.
  5. Feb 1, 2021
    90
    A product of its time, it will unsettle and confuse you, and there are even moments that feel poignant. That is why they will be remembered as an important band, and this album a significant milestone in modern guitar music.
  6. 90
    For The First Time is ferocious and endlessly intelligent, highly considered and wildly improvised, eked out with bristling tension and set alight with a burning intensity and a knowing smile.
  7. Uncut
    Feb 1, 2021
    90
    You'll be hard pushed to find a more adventurously self-assured debut this year. [Mar 2021, p.27]
  8. Feb 4, 2021
    80
    Black Country, New Road are no gods, but this inventive and likeable album should earn them a million or so disciples.
  9. Feb 2, 2021
    80
    The meshing of classically trained and self-taught players adds depth to the band's sound, creating a unique concoction of precise technical skill and raw, almost primal passion, leading to an unpredictable instrumental delight.
  10. Mojo
    Feb 1, 2021
    80
    The young seven-piece have since progressed at warp-speed, here passing the full-length test with confidence. [Mar 2021, p.90]
  11. Feb 5, 2021
    75
    Black Country, New Road showcases immense disregard for standard musical structures and an affinity for shrieking, discordant noise. Unlike their peers, they rely less frequently on jolting stops and starts, instead relying on gradual jazz and post-rock buildups.
  12. Feb 9, 2021
    74
    Their portentous crescendos and surges of Jewish klezmer music set the pace, making post-rock sound improbably carnivalesque. That none of their experiments feel gimmicky speaks to a diverse and inquisitive musicianship.
  13. Feb 5, 2021
    74
    They delivered neither a classic nor an embarrassing flop that revealed them as a flavour-of-the-week fancy, but just a pretty good album with room to improve.
  14. Feb 5, 2021
    70
    Occasionally the vocals (and the constant name-dropping) become overbearing, but the musicianship is strong and adventurous, taking familiar instrumentation in unexpected directions, and Black Country, New Road are undeniably original.
  15. Feb 4, 2021
    60
    Black Country, New Road’s seriousness and determined intellectualism is sometimes to their detriment.
  16. 40
    It just feels tedious and predictable. Portentous twangs of guitar? Tick. Shivery percussion? Tick. Screeches of feedback? Tick. A frontman who delivers lyrics (rambling prose) in a croaky, squawking gasp that recalls Mark E Smith? Tick.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. Feb 5, 2021
    10
    Amazing and fresh. Not much else to say. A very great and outstanding record that you can tell will become a tough competition for any newAmazing and fresh. Not much else to say. A very great and outstanding record that you can tell will become a tough competition for any new bands that follow a similar style. Enjoyed listening to it the first time, and will only grow stronger as time goes on. Full Review »
  2. Feb 5, 2021
    8
    Hearkens back to similar groups, such as Squid.
    The Independent said their "determined intellectualism is...to their detriment", and it's a
    Hearkens back to similar groups, such as Squid.
    The Independent said their "determined intellectualism is...to their detriment", and it's a very agreeable statement. Much of the album feels as if the seven-piece tried their hardest to 'appear' intellectual, and they more often than not hit the mark (at least instrumentally). Altogether, the record is very enjoyable and only gets better as you make your way through it, no doubt revealing more secrets and perspectives with each consecutive listen.
    Highlights: Sunglasses & Track X.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 5, 2021
    3
    There is nothing original, exciting or particularly intelligent about this record. Boy, are they annoying though. They are trying so hard toThere is nothing original, exciting or particularly intelligent about this record. Boy, are they annoying though. They are trying so hard to be all of those things, it took some getting through for me. Full Review »