12th House Rock (Blue Vinyl)
"Nobody has riffs anymore," says founding member/vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte when asked about his approach on 12th House Rock. "That's the kind of band we are and to me, that's just how you write songs. Drums, bass, guitar, vocals. Nothing else. There are no other instruments on the record."
The Houston-based band's latest entry is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90's alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, thirteen tracks of their signature brand of bludgeoning lullabies bursting at the seams with creative ideas, new directions and yes, massive, monolithic riffs. In between the sparkle and smash, open-hearted and emotionally naked songwriting showcases a core piece of the band's identity- showcasing 12th House Rock as one of the best rock releases of 2020.
"It's the definitive work of Narrow Head," proudly explains bassist Ryan Chavez. "Recorded in a studio over a month's span, the way they used to do it. Not just for the sake of making it that way, but because it was the right way for us." Delving into deep-seated themes of self loathing, desolation, self-medication, the loss of loved ones and hopeful redemption,12th House Rock is, as the title suggests, a rock-focused LP themed on transition- exploring the vast abyss of darkness just before the sun cracks upon the horizon.
Using distorted guitars as their primary vehicle, Narrow Head's wall of riffs add stark contrast to their best quality- deceptively sweet pop melodies that channel the lessons of My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Helmet, Deftones and Guided by Voices all at once. Yet despite whatever comparisons that can be made to guitar tone, mood, songwriting, timbre or virtually anything else, Narrow Head are quick to credit their native Houston, TX as the primary source for it all. Rising from the Texas underground scene, Narrow Head formed in 2013 but became fully realized as a band in Houston with the release of their 2016 debut LP Satisfaction and the lineup of Duarte, Menjivar and drummer Carson Wilcox. Playing in the Texas scene instilled a can-do attitude, an ability to explore several different ideas along with a strong set of DIY ethics, qualities that still form the basis of the band to this day.
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