Black Country, New Road - For the first time
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2021 Ratings: #79 / 753
Year End Rank: #24
User Score
2021 Rank: #8
Liked by 1,387 people
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Evening Standard

The album packs in a career’s worth of ideas and suggests this band could go on to become something even more special.


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.

The Observer
Showing a joyful disregard for genre, this remarkably biodiverse seven-piece take the rock band format and soar with it.
Loud and Quiet

For The First Time comes off as a wildly successful experiment and, much like Slint, it’s easy to wonder if Black Country, New Road will ever make anything remotely similar ever again.

Restless, inventive, droll and often searingly intense, Black Country, New Road go about their business with real purpose.
Still Listening
In only six tracks, we are given 40 minutes of innovative, unique and complex sounds, cementing this as a record that music nerds will be talking about for a long time.
The Young Folks

For the first time is a freewheeling, experimental opus that sees Black Country, New Road firmly planting their flag down in the music scene.


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.

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.


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.

Beats Per Minute
With their bizarrely experimental guitar music and a poetic flair that speaks to Gen-Z, Black Country, New Road have also proven that they are no longer the next Slint or, in Wood’s own words, “the world’s second-best Slint tribute act.” Instead, they have made a name for themselves with a record that may very well be “the absolute pinnacle of British engineering.”

An early contender for album of the year and surely a high water mark for the upcoming decade. The band deftly bottles middle class malaise with electrifying results, ensuring that For The First Time will certainly stay with you if you take the plunge.

Northern Transmissions

The album, recorded live over six days with My Bloody Valentine producer Andy Savours, captures the band in their present moment, tuned up after a year of extensive touring.


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


As captivating as it is striking, For The First Time is a thrilling glimpse into the world of Black Country, New Road: true storytellers who have captured the passion and intensity of our cynical times.

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.

The Needle Drop

Rock debuts as daring as For the First Time are a rarity.


The young seven-piece have ... progressed at warp-speed, here passing the full-length test with confidence.

No Ripcord

For the first time is usually nonsensical, frequently transcendent, and compulsively listenable. Everything that sprung to mind is on the wax here, but BC, NR don’t forget to make it catchy and groovy. In nailing that balance, they’ve given us the year’s first capital-G Great record.


For the first time isn't just anxious 22-year-olds making music for other anxious 22-year-olds; it's a raw reflection of the society we've become and the society what we're growing into.


Where their peers might suddenly send out a head-spinning blast of guitar noise, Black Country, New Road thrive in slower tension and release.

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.

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.

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.


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.

The Forty-Five

It would be very easy to dismiss Black Country, New Road as a wanky student poetry band ... Yet it’s equally easy to read the band as a celebration of the richness of culture beyond British borders, and an argument for the provision of affordable music education and resources for young people.

There’s a whole lot going on on this carefree debut album . . . The many devotees they’ve captured so far might be enraptured by their debut's wild sonic abandon while others may just think ‘What a racket?’. Either way, Black Country, New Road are making an impression.
Record Collector

They don’t always hit the mark, but on the whole, For The First Time is a snapshot of a young band going to invitingly dark places extremely fast.


At times, the outfit as a whole feel less than the sum of their parts.

The Independent
Black Country, New Road’s debut feels like a letdown after the early hype.

Dear The Independent:

Fuck you




“If we could get as big as it could be possible for a band like us to be big, then that would be good. The Next Arcade Fire, that’s the goal.”

We live in a world where, at any moment, everything could be instantaneously ripped away from you. Whether this is a position in power or a small job as an intern, whether it's the simplest mistake or the result of pressure building up over a prolonged period of time, this is something that is bound to happen for some. Black ... read more


“I met her accidentally
It was at the Cambridge Science Fair
And she was so impressed I could make so many things catch on fire.”


The predator that is ever growing and only gets stronger over time if left unkempt. Does it hunt you? Are you the prey?

For the First Time *is* that beast. It *is* the stress. It is the building of the calm until the thunderous storm. You begin in Athens, but there is a flood that knocks you away. Crashing waves of a tsunami flings your body ... read more


Estou oficialmente aumentando a nota do meu review 88 -> 92 ESSA PORRA É FODAAAA


They can't physically miss ever. These songs are so well written and composed bruhhhh.

Favourite track - Sunglasses.


I have nothing eloquent to say, but this shit slaps

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Added on: October 27, 2020