Friday, February 22, 2008

The Narrows

Half-assed blogospheric journalism alert: The video above and the website below is a different The Narrows than the band I had in mind. I should have known when I saw that they never seem to have left Michigan. There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that the real Narrows are from Bellingham and their website is more like what you'd expect and actually has info on where to get their music. Quellish starts playing as soon as you get to their MySpace page, and it's worth the trip. The bad news is that there is nothing from them on Youtube. If that ever changes, you'll be the first to know. I'll leave the post below, with the wrong Narrows, the way it is, because they're kind of cool anyway.

My friend Barbara has turned me onto more amazing music than one would think humanly possible. She, like me, is a bit obsessive. Her's takes the form of prowling favorite alt-music websites checking out sound clips and a narrow focus to her consumerism. I get to see her once or twice a year, and it always involves iPod ripping. She was here a week or two ago and left lots to think about.

Benjamin, the new CD by The Narrows is pretty much my sound track these days. I chose the above video, not so much because it does them justice, but because I loved the college dorm cafeteria venue, and the sound wasn't as poor as the others. Be sure to get at least a third in when the wall of sound thing starts to happen.

On their website they call themselves "a groovy psychedelic lollypop band from the mid-west," but they're more than that. Here's what Barbara wrote.
The Narrows’ sound is incredibly satisfying in and of itself – the down-tuned guitars, the constant rumble and intermittent roar, the vocals that teeter between whisper and wail. The soft-loud dynamic is spectacular over the course of each song and the entire album. Motifs split up and rejoin like the inner dialogue of an obsessive mind – thoughts examined from every angle, put away for a while, only to be pulled out again for another look. These ruminations have a meditative aspect, too, as themes come in and out of focus, the repetition serving to deepen their penetration. … This band has a way of taking the darkest of human emotions and deconstructing them sonically, unflinching. I wonder if, Rorschach-like, each listener hears his or her own dark thread unraveled (in my case, an infinite capacity for disappointment). … Fucking gorgeous and highest of highest of highest recommendations.
Yeah. What she said. I keep telling her she should start a music blog but she worries it would take over her life. My reply: "and …?"

Their new EP is available from their website for free download. The first few tracks felt like an experiment with more of a pop style (for them, this is relative) but Red Light/Blue Light is what I'm talking about, and Two by Two shows off their metal chops nicely.

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