Schlagenheim is the highly anticipated debut album by Black Midi, a math rock band hailing from Croydon, London (which I was actually born in btw). Their hype has mostly been generated through their live performances uploaded on to the internet, making them already gain somewhat of a cult following.

Now, what I will say is that while I was still very much on the Black Midi hype train, I can't say I was extremely impressed by their previous singles, at least not as much as the hardcore fans, though that didn't make me too concerned for this album, as I imagined that they would sound a lot better with the context of the album, which can be the case when it comes to a lot of rock music. However, I should just note that oddly they have taken the decision to not include singles Crow's Perch and Talking Heads for whatever reason. There is still singles, such as Speedway and the recently released Ductor, so this seems to a creative decision, rather than one to mislead fans.

Anyway, with whatever my thoughts were leading up to the album, the real question is does it deliver?

Yes, but holy shit, I wasn't expecting it to be this good. What they essentially did was release one of the debut albums for any rock band pretty much in this century. Now look, I know that sounds as if I'm heavily exaggerating the quality of Schlagenheim, but think about this, how many bands, especially from the 21st century can you say managed to make at least a 9/10 album on their first try? Exactly.

This album is insane, from the tight tracklist (there really is no weak song here), the jittering rhythm on tracks, such as Western, which as implied by the name incorporates a country twang, to the depths of intensity that this project reaches. Everything about this album works together perfectly. Drums, like a lot of math rock, is heavy and reaches extreme pace. Riffs are as catchy and infectious as it gets. And, while this is certainly a fun album, the vocal performance is dark, really bringing us in a territory of no mercy. There's also these shrieks on tracks, like bmbmbm that take this on a somewhat frightening turn.

I think that for anyone that still proclaims "rock is dead" needs to listen to this album, as this is a step forward, an evolution of the genre, while not being to inaccessible for the people stuck in the 1990s and previous. It bridges that gap between new and old in my opinion, without pandering to either crowd. While, I wouldn't say this decade is without great rock bands, I mean just look at IDLES, or Parquet Courts, or a whole list of names you could probably mention, Black Midi certainly play an essential role in putting gas in the tank by creating something truly refreshing.

I cannot stress this out enough, do listen to this. You won't regret it.

What an amazing album.
12 Comments
Jun 20, 2019
Dude you're getting me so hype on this!!! Can't wait to listen.
Jun 20, 2019
@laz456 just one of the many advantages of not living in the US is that I get to listen to albums earlier :)
Jun 20, 2019
I HAVE TWO HOURS LEFT AND I'M DYING!!!!!
Jun 20, 2019
@laz456 if only I had the power to control time. I could either speed it up, so you can listen to this amazing album, or I can be selfish by ensuring you won't get to listen to this just to piss you off
Jun 20, 2019
>:(
Jun 20, 2019
@laz456 >:)
Jun 21, 2019
>:0 this album made me shit myself
Jun 21, 2019
No
Jun 21, 2019
Just listened to it on a train ride....fuck
Jun 21, 2019
Loved the album. I was not expecting they'll include Speedway on the LP. I guess Crow's Perch fits the album better tho..
Jun 23, 2019
out of everything that this album has to offer, i really liked the vocal performance. something about it to me is captivating for some reason.
Jun 23, 2019
major agree.
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