On Narrow Head’s latest single “Gearhead”, the band approaches new depths of heaviness. Fueled by a massive riff that nods towards the pure evil, “everything is bigger in Texas” attitude, the band unravels syncopated bursts of pummeling kinetic energy, weaving between subtly gripping melodies and utterly bleak breakdowns in unison. Frontman Jacob Duarte (also of Skourge, Sexpill) tells, “This is the type of song I’ve always wanted to write. A hardcore song with a catchy hook. If you ever wanted to describe our sound to someone; start with this song.”
Solitude, melancholy, and revelation bleed into each other throughout Narrow Head’s, Moments of Clarity, transporting the listener through a vast terrain of emotional spaces. Traversing the depths of towering, churning riffs, bouncing, lock-grooved rhythms, and crystalline, gorgeously constructed hooks, the Houston-based outfit puts on a masterclass in the art of writing songs that match the pain, pleasure, and confusion of modern living. Each track is sentimental without being precious, heavy without unnecessary griminess, pop-forward without letting the listener off the hook easy: these songs ask for some form of hurt or desire to be paid back to them in return, some promise that the listener is putting equal skin into the game.
Each riff, melody, and drum fill has been rigorously constructed and pushed towards its most simplified, base instinct. There are no frills or unnecessary ornamentation, only pure sensation in the absence of conscious thought. Duarte credits the presence of Sonny DiPerri (NIN, Protomartyr, My Bloody Valentine), who recorded, mixed, and produced the record, with elevating Narrow Head’s sound. Prior to recording, the band spent a week with DiPerri at a house in Sherman, TX, reworking and refining the record with a sense of surgical intent, sculpting each melody and hook until it had reached its logical conclusion. The band then relocated with DiPerri to Jeff Friedl’s (Devo, A Perfect Circle) home-studio in Los Angeles, where they completed the tracking of the record under the reprieve of an uncharacteristically mild Californian late-summer.
Photo Courtesy: Nate Kahn