The Narrows – The Eve Of Invasion
There is a moment during this album that is so jaw droppingly stunning that you will be forgiven for thinking that you were in the presence of seasoned professionals who know a trick or two to tug on your heartstrings. It is a moment which belies the youthfulness and naivety of a band who are just starting out and gives you faith that yes, rock n roll may just be OK. That moment comes halfway through a debut album which may just well place The Narrows as one of the surprise hits of the year. This is made all the more important when you actually realise that the UK has not had a decent flagship band to call their own for a while.
Well, arguably there is Kasabian and it is these who’s early work provide a starting point for The Narrows. The opening salvo of ‘Able Danger’ and ‘We Invent Enemies’ rely heavily on the aforesaid processed beats of their peers. Mixed in with this indie sensibility is an aptitude towards industrial riffs and electronica which raises their music out of the norm. It is like being battered with a mix of Kasabian, Black Sabbath and Faith No More all at the same time and this is no bad thing.
It is during ‘Boiler Girl Room’ that we find ourselves in the hands of a band who are not afraid to tread their own path. Slower paced and more considered than the previous two tracks, it allows the music to breathe and gives the vocals more chance to stretch out. This is a key feature of the next few tracks leading up to the crescendo of ‘Cold Copy’. Experimental synths mix in with disembodied voices and crunching riffs creating a post-electronic indie maelstrom which is all over shone by arppegiated melodies creating a classical tuneful swirl which, by that aforementioned moment earlier in this review, when twin vocals are meshed over each over would bring old masters such as Radiohead to their knees.
It would be difficult for The Narrows to sustain this over a whole album and there are a few low points. ‘Zapruder’ is almost nu-metal, quiet/loud pastiche which doesn’t quite work and ‘Counter Transference’ is slight although does act as a perfect stop gap before the tremendous ‘I Make My Car Crash’, a song which wakes you up from the beautiful daze you have been in and reminds you that there is still loud riffs in this band.
Epic closer ‘German Children’ is ideal in that it ties all the disparate parts of the album together and pieces them together in a satisfying whole which leaves you satiated but also wanting more. Building up into an incessant groove it is like being born again from the depths of a cold electronic wasteland into something much more tangible. It wraps up an album which shows tremendous promise and introduces a band who may very well be in the lips of a lot of people by the end of the year.
Released on June 4th through Cognitive Dissonance Records
Posted by Martyn Coppack
Tags: CogDiss, Cognitive Dissonance Records, Martyn Coppack, The Eve Of Invasion, The Narrows