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Album Review
New Distances

New Distances
by Narrows


Review Date
20 May 2009
Reviewed by
M Street

Narrows – New Distances

With member resumes boasting Botch, Unbroken, These Arms Are Snakes and Tropics, Narrows are as close to a hardcore supergroup as you will find. So with the release of their debut full length, ‘New Distances’, it would be safe to say I was hoping for something a little more impressive than most band’s first offerings, but I didn’t want to pin too much hope on what is still a relatively new band.

Cue track 1, ‘Chambered’, and whatever reservations I had were instantly forgotten, Narrows were not only going to meet my high expectations, but surpass them.

Next up is ‘Seawitch’ that continues the album’s powerful introduction with a strong yet sludgy bass and quickened drumbeat that transitions nicely into the third track, the haunting instrumental, ‘A Restoration Effort’.

From here the band launch into one of the standout tracks in my opinion, ‘I Give you Six months’. Both lyrically and musically this song is perfect, it flows so damn well right from the engaging opening to the extended outro. This is the sort of song that puts Narrows on a pedestal for any post hardcore band to aspire towards.

Track five, ‘Changing Clothes’, sees drummer Sam Strothers take centre stage, before ‘Newly Restored’, which with it’s angular structure and Dave Verellan’s familiar yell could have easily found a place on a Botch record, continues the assault.

Track seven, ‘Gypsy Kids’, is a slower 6 minute number that, in my opinion, is another standout. Track Eight, ‘Fourragere’, is another hypnotic instrumental before the album closes with the drawn out and heavily sampled ‘Maruis Lights’.

Despite having members based in London and Seattle, ‘New Distances’ is an album that couldn’t feel anymore complete. Everything from the artwork to the track order works and you could be forgiven for thinking that the group has been together for years. Be it the heavily layered, chaotic tunes, or the more straightforward off-kilter punk rock tracks, this is an album that any musician interested in heavy music needs to hear. Not only does it pay homage to the past, but it points to the future. Hopefully this is not the last we are to hear from Narrows.

“Some of us are old.
Some of us are young.
Some of us live in London.
Some of us in Seattle.
All of us love music.
No sass or flash, just punk the way we know how.
We are Narrows...”
Narrows 2009

M Street

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