I know it's incredibly bad form to mention previous bands various people have been in when their new band is just blossoming, but when you're talking about anyone who's ever been involved in Botch then, y'know, it's hard to forget the past. Having said that, razor-throated vocalist Dave Verellen's latest project, Narrows is probably the most Botch-like of them all, and subsequently the one that's making me most excited about life right now.
Plus, they've got Ryan from These Arms Are Snakes and Rob from Some Girls in them too, and this prompts us to do a little bit of mathematics:
Botch + These Arms Are Snakes x Some Girls + (massive riffs x utter hardcore violence) = awesome = NARROWS.
See? Maths doesn't lie.
Put plainly - because that's what the best hardcore is, plain and direct even when it's bafflingly complex - Narrows are the sound of power distilled into musical form. They don't deal with the tired, turgid 'I hate stuff so I'm going to puch people while wearing a wifebeater and swigging energy drinks' bullshit that passes for much popular hardcore these days, they hew feelings and concepts out of thin air and make them flesh.
Plus they rock like demonic bastards of riffery, with Verellen's classically ferocious bark riding over dischordant guitars that sound like ambulance sirens in some parallel dimension and drums that hit like a thousand punches to the gut. Check out 'Life Vests Float, Kids Don't' and 'Chambered' on their MySpace and you'll kinda see what I mean.
I'm trying to sort out some free tunes from their new album, but until then comment below and let me know what you think. Or, let's start a new debate: who's better - Russian Circles or Minus The Bear?