Hardcore/Metal cross

Any band featuring members of Botch and These Arms Are Snakes is a pretty juicy prospect, especially considering their debut full length was such a corker, so it was with some excitement we took possession of the new Narrows record. This time the band, still split as an entity by international barriers, have produced even more of a heavy hitting monster (if that's possible).

The approach on this record seems to be for a more straight forward metal/hardcore cross, with chunky, batter-you-into-submission guitars and heavy duty screams being the order of the day. This approach does mean though that they lose much of the playful, art-rock riffage and in the process, their sound does lose some of the charm and quirkiness that made their previous album New Distances so listenable and immediate. However, if you stick around what you discover is a more than solid hardcore-metal cross and you'll find that there are snippets of that off kilter style in tracks like T B Positive and It's The Water, it's just that when the guitar is allowed some rope it's woven in more subtly, to give a more streamlined and concise version of that sound from their debut.

It's possible the decision to pare things down in this way and go for the throat has something to do with the bands distance from each other and therefore difficulty in recording. Regardless of any speculation though, even if the sound here is less quirky there is still plenty to be said of the distorted and thunderous bass, doom laden hardcore drums and intense vocals. It may not live up to your expectations of the Narrows sound but let's be fair, wouldn't we all be whinging if they'd just recorded a repeat of album number one, and this is still a record more than worthy of 27 minutes of your time.