Narrows - Narrows [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Narrows [7 inch] (2008)


Narrows might be the west coast's premier metal/hardcore band given a bit of time. When you've got former Botch howler Dave Verellen fronting a band that includes current and former members of Unbroken, Some Girls and These Arms Are Snakes, you tend to have all the proper ingredients for a serious sound.

On their Deathwish-issued, self-titled debut 7", Narrows vaguely recall the parts from which they're made, balancing a line between warm familiarity and progressive bits of something entirely new. Because of Verellen's menacing presence, sure, there's a wee bit of Botch in here, perhaps between the angular firebombings of We Are the Romans and the ferocious grip of An Anthology of Dead Ends.

But Narrows tend to alternate between either side of the dynamic: by providing ultimately heavier and more straightforward fare like opener "Life Vests Float, Kids Don't," which uncorks in a wailing manner for its short two minutes; or through throbbing, Neurosis-esque restraint, like on closer "The Touch Test." If there's a middle ground, both stylistically and numerative-wise, it's "Crooked Tongues," which spends half its four-minute running time repeatedly bashing away in the form of sledgehammer stop-starts.

Even with three songs barely eclipsing the three-minute mark, Narrows have already proved their focus is anything but. Here's to the 2009 full-length that should provide an expanded example of an already varied sound.

Life Vests Float, Kids Don't