Albums to watch

For The First Time

Black Country, New Road

For The First Time

Debut full-length album from the London post-rock band produced by Andy Savours

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  1. 10.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Forget the best band in the world. This feels like everything a rock band can do
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  2. 10.0 |   NME

    An utterly mesmerising debut. Although just six tracks long – is bursting with ideas
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  3. 10.0 |   Evening Standard

    There’s a bleak beauty to Track X that suggests these uncommercial noise makers could yet win over the masses. The rest of the album packs in a career’s worth of ideas and suggests this band could go on to become something even more special
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  4. 10.0 |   The Observer

    Showing a joyful disregard for genre, this remarkably biodiverse seven-piece take the rock band format and soar with it
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  5. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    Black Country, New Road show us what a "rock band" or "rock outfit" can achieve on For the First Time. For those bands labeled as experimental, we now have an expectation and a new benchmark
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  6. 9.0 |   Beats Per Minute

    They have made a name for themselves with a record that may very well be “the absolute pinnacle of British engineering”
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  7. 9.0 |   Clash

    There are times when it feels alien – futuristic, even. 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
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  8. 9.0 |   Uncut

    You'll be hard pushed to find a more adventurously self-assured debut this year. Print edition only

  9. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    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
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  10. 8.6 |   Gig Soup

    A post-rock odyssey into the depths middle class malaise
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  11. 8.5 |   Northern Transmissions

    There aren’t enough lifetimes to learn everything there is to know. But bit by bit, Black Country, New Road are learning everything they need to know, in their present moment
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  12. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Passing the full-length test with confidence. Print edition only

  13. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Progression is inevitable and, if Black Country, New Road's honesty and old-fashioned virtuosity continues, we could be witnessing the emergence of a generation-defining band
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  14. 8.0 |   Gigwise

    A journey of emotions leaving the rules of genre far behind
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  15. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Whilst For the first time might not quite be the perfect record, Black Country, New Road might be the perfect band
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  16. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    The debut album by the seven-piece band from London is the sound of Black Country, New Road working to navigate expectations and how to exist as an act built on references
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  17. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    Black Country, New Road are no gods, but this inventive and likeable album should earn them a million or so disciples
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  18. 8.0 |   The FT

    The seven-piece’s debut album mixes periods of reflective calm into frantic action
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  19. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    For its dearth of new material, the refinements displayed only add to For the first time’s power. Leaving what comes in the next three years more the thing to ponder
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  20. 7.5 |   Paste Magazine

    The London seven-piece arrives with plenty to prove, and they mostly succeed
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  21. 7.4 |   Pitchfork

    Anchored by inquisitive musicianship and the mercurial vocals of Isaac Wood, the London-based group’s debut creates a post-punk haven for unfiltered pretension and paranoia
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  22. 7.4 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    If For the first time truly is the singular text on their first 18 months as a band, then hearing how tantalisingly close it is to greatness, and how often it gets lost in the weeds instead?
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  23. 6.0 |   DIY

    The outfit as a whole feel less than the sum of their parts
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  24. 4.0 |   The Independent

    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
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