Narrows/Heiress – Split EP
I love being able to listen to a record and have no expectations for it whatsoever and be pleasantly surprised. I’ll admit it; I wasn’t psyching myself up for this split. I like Narrows and I think their previous two releases were solid, but I wasn’t exactly blown away by either of those records. In a way I feel like I viewed them as a continuation of Botch. Then, there is Heiress, who I had never even heard of prior to this split. Combining these two elements didn’t have me waiting outside of a record store with my face pressed against the glass and five dollars clenched in my hand.
As it turns out, this was the perfect set up for me to actually enjoy what this record has to showcase. In fact, more or less, that’s what this split is; a showcase of both bands. Each bands side consists of two songs, which in total combines for about eleven minutes of really solid music. For a split like this, it’s really a perfect length. Each side contains about five or so minutes of music that basically serves as a great introduction to the bands for new listeners.
On the Narrows side of the record we have two new songs, “Recurring” and “Feel the Sun.” Both tracks exhibit the discordant metallic hardcore sound that Botch had made famous through their years of existence. If you’ve heard Narrows before, then you should know what to expect out of their side of this split. It doesn’t deviate from the formula that they followed on their EP as well as on New Distances. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as both songs on their side are pretty good. They’re both fairly fast paced and definitely feel like they would be a lot of fun to hear live. The production here is also pretty much the same as you might expect. Everything is crisp and clear.
Heiress on the other hand caught me by surprise. As I said before, I had never heard of this band before this split was announced. This was my first time hearing them and I’m definitely hoping it won’t be the last. I didn’t realize that John Pettibone of Himsa fame was behind this band, as his vocals sound nothing like they did with that band. When I first hear the vocals kick in, I had to check the lineup because I thought that Scott Kelly of Neurosis may have been responsible. Musically, it’s fairly heavy, and somewhat reminiscent of Cult of Luna in a way. The production is just as smooth as it is on the Narrows side, and it works very well for both bands. The tracks on this side are “Communionist” and “Husk Worship.”
Before closing I’d like the point out that the drums on both sides of this split sound phenomenal. They have a nice punch to them and really break through the mix without overpowering anything. The production in general for both bands is really solid.
Solid as the Narrows side is, the Heiress side is what really impressed me about this split. I’m hoping to hear more from both bands, and this split served as a pretty good sample of what is (hopefully) to come.