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.
Longtime Narrow Head fans will undoubtedly still recognize the band’s signature marriage of brutality and grace, and many of the core themes of desolation, loss, and self-medication that the band established on their prior records Satisfaction (2016) and 12th House Rock (2020) continue to haunt the edges of Moments of Clarity. All the same, Moments rises above the darkness with a sense of elegant repose. While not exactly optimistic in outlook, these songs simmer with a certain life affirming desire, a burning passion to transcend pure cynicism and self-destruction, if only for even a few seconds.
This newfound lust for life is baked into the essence of the songs themselves. 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.
The addition of Kora Puckett (Solo, Bugg, Sheer Mag), who was promoted from touring guitarist to permanent band member, further bolstered the writing process, expanding the band’s traditional songwriting trio of Duarte, guitarist William Menjivar, and drummer Carson Wilcox and pushing the songs towards a broader minded, arrangement-by-committee register. An ecstatic sense of group cohesion shines through in each individual performance.
With Moments of Clarity, the band’s third full-length, Narrow Head dashes away any shadow of romantic nostalgia or indulgent self-deprecation. Channeling equal parts pop-star conceit and weathered sobriety, the band has, in the truest and most basic sense, arrived at a record that only they could have written. Moments does not speak to or build upon the past. Rather, it cuts straight to the heart of the matter, taking the struggle, brilliance, and mystery of contemporary life as its direct subject.
Moments of Clarity is available today via Run For Cover Records on vinyl, CD and all digital streaming platforms – listen / share here. You can catch them touring North America now with White Reaper. Mid May they kick off a headlining tour after their performance at Sick World Festival in Las Vegas. See below for a full list of dates
Narrow Head Live Dates:
Feb 10: Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall ~
Feb 11: St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall ~
Feb 13: Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Studio ~
Feb 14: Austin, TX – Scoot Inn ~
Feb 15: Dallas, TX – Granada Theater ~
Feb 17: Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad ~
Feb 18: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom ~
Feb 19: San Diego, CA – Music Box ~
Feb 21: Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre ~
Feb 22: San Francisco, CA – August Hall ~
Feb 24: Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre ~
Feb 25: Seattle, WA – The Crocodile ~
Feb 26: Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre ~
May 13: Las Vegas, NV – Sick New World Fest
May 15: Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
May 16: Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge
May 17: Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
May 18: Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
May 19: Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
May 20: Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s
May 22: New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
May 23: Brooklyn, NY – TV Eye
May 24: Boston, MA – The Sinclair
May 25: Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
May 26: Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
May 27: Durham, NC – The Pinhook
May 28: Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Purgatory
May 30: Miami, FL – Gramps
May 31: Orlando, FL – The Abbey
Jun 01: Tampa, FL – The Crowbar
Jun 02: Pensacola, FL – The Handlebar
Jun 03: New Orleans, LA – Santos
~ w/ White Reaper, Taipei Houston
Leave a Reply