Penny Blacks Stitch New Video for “Black Wool”
“Black Wool” is the six minute opener to Long Lights, the latest collection of coarse and contemporary folk rock from Penny Blacks. Originating from Saint John, New Brunswick, Penny Blacks have been trekking their new album live across Eastern Canada since late September. After cluing up the Long Lights tour in Montréal on Saturday, November 3rd, Penney Blacks have crowned a successful run with a brand new video for the album’s outset track.
“Black Wool” is a building meditation on a mood-setting jam that casually introduces the temperament of the record. Maybe it is the recent tragic events that has Petty sitting heavy on our minds, but the loose chug of “Black Wool” invokes the spirit of Wildflowers era Heartbreakers meets the untied and heavyhearted ends of classic Crazy Horse. Don’t you dare dismiss Penny Blacks as some sort of throwback heartland rock rehash, the arrangements on Long Lights pack a relevant and inspired punch.
The second half of “Black Wool” breaks free as the floating vocal delivery descends into a rolling revelry of swampy guitar licks that progressively reveal a harder instrumental edge. The closing moment of “Black Wool” pulls together the pieces into a full-fledged stoner rock fix that could fit a file somewhere between Earthless’ “Sonic Prayer” and only the bluest shades of Tony Iommi. Penny Blacks feel heavy even at their audibly lightest, and it is all due to the soul and conviction that the songwriting arouses.
The video component that we’ve been delivered for Penny Blacks new vehicle containing “Black Wool” is a curated splice-up of creative commons footage from the educational 1982 Nasa video presentation entitled Journey Through the Solar System: Our Star The Sun. The fuzzy 80s psychedelia of the visual connects images of landscape, space and dated hints of planetary future fantasy.
“History repeats itself, we’ve been here before” states the “Black Wool” refrain, offering the conscious effort to bridge the strenuous relationship between old and new, a theme explored both sonically and thematically on the Long Lights album.
“We’re taught to strive for more, but accept and be content with less. We’re told anything is possible and to follow our dreams, but the reality is the possibilities and the number of available golden tickets are shrinking day by day” explains Penny Blacks album notes. “We resist and kick against complacency and conformity at every turn – or at least we say we do – and in the meantime we find ourselves stuck at crossroads; places where we are just idling, just living. Just keeping our heads above water, and sometimes we even lack the energy or the passion to ask questions or look ahead.”
Well, even with our heads just above water, we’re patiently looking ahead to what Penny Blacks might offer up next.