Narrows – Painted (2012)

Posted: April 5, 2012 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: , ,

If you’re not familiar with this band, you may have been as out of the loop as I was. While I feel that the identities of Narrows’ band members are ever-so appropriate, I will refrain from name-dropping in excitement until the end of the review. It’s only fair that this project be treated as a standalone endeavor, a progressive and fresh undertaking, and not one that is a rehash or continuation of their previous bands’ efforts (even if it may seem so).

Since Narrows’ first album (a self-titled 3-song release in 2008), the band has gone on to release a full-length, and a split with Heiress. Now, in 2012, we are graced with the meanest, most punishing, deviating, and filthiest chaotic metal/sludge/hardcore album to come out in years – Painted. This is not an album that you simply pump a tightly-clenched fist to in the comfort of your own home. This is the kind of album that you bring to your 9-to-5 office job, kick your boss’ fucking teeth in, and proceed to saw through his throat with a strand of rusty razor-wire to during a “team morale boost/employee assessment” meeting. I have not heard an album as raw and visceral since Deadguy’s Fixation on a Co-Worker or even earlier Today Is The Day, and it wouldn’t be a bad comparison in terms of delivery and vibe, even if the musicianship is different.

The album kicks off with “Under the Guillitone”, which starts off with a lot of driving noise (the good kind) over considerably down-tuned riffs, and it might have the most menacing and crushing break I’ve heard in a while.  The album follows suit until about the 4th track, “Greenland”, which clocks in at around 8 minutes and proves to be one of the best tracks on the record – a sort of noisy-crescendoing track. The rest of this record still maintains its viciousness to the very end, which I was worried it wouldn’t because of the sheer power of the opening song. It’s left to much wonder what state of mind they were in or what life experiences influenced them when they wrote this record. If you’re a fan of some serious hostility, you might want to check this one out.

Rating: If you’ve never heard of Narrows before, you may have heard the projects that these guys came from. Returning to vocal duties is Dave Verellen from Botch,who has not lost any steam whatsoever; he may have become even more vicious vocally than he was in Botch. Rob Moran from Unbroken, Ryan Fredereksen from These Arms Are Snakes, Jodie Cox from Tropics, and Sam Stothers from Makeout Boys round out the group. Clearly, this makes for a fine line-up, and even if you were turned-off by previous records, give Painted a listen. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I’m kicking myself for having heard this record after I missed their show last month in NYC. Foolish.  4/5 kegs



– Anthony John Czerwinski

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