Narrow Head have released new single and video, ‘Stuttering Stanley’. Vocalist Jacob Duarte states, “Stuttering Stanley is something I was called growing up a few times. Not everyone can keep up with how I talk and what I’m saying. There’s two types of reactions I get when a person hears me stutter for the first time. Sometimes they’ll notice and patiently let me get out my words, and politely not say anything. The other is the person who doesn’t understand what’s happening and chuckles before realising that I have a stutter. It helps me figure out who’s real and who’s not.”
Rising from the Texas underground/DIY scene, Narrow Head quickly amassed a devoted following for their standout live performances and open-hearted, emotionally naked songwriting. Their sophomore effort 12th House Rock is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90’s alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, thirteen tracks of Narrow Head’s signature brand of bludgeoning lullabies bursting at the seams with creative ideas, new directions and massive, monolithic riffs.
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. “A lot of the record was made in the late hours and early morning,” recalls Duarte. “Those quiet moments alone when utter silence and my self-medication made it impossible to escape from my own thoughts. It was also from a specific time when I didn’t take care of myself and made bad decisions in all aspects of my life. These songs were a way out, temporarily anyway.”
Narrow Head formed in 2013 but became fully realised as a band in Houston with the release of their 2016 debut LP Satisfaction and the lineup of Duarte, guitarist William 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. “I think that having other musical projects provided a scene for us to play too. Nobody else was looking at us, so we had to make our own scene,” notes Duarte.
Though the primary trio was present throughout the entire cycle, fate would intervene on bass as the undeniable chemistry between the band and then strictly producer Ryan Chavez led to his inclusion in Narrow Head. The newly minted four piece would handle the bulk of the remainder of the LP, bringing in Erica Miller (Big Bite, Casual Hex), vocalist/lyricist on “Delano Door,” and mastering guru Sarah Register (Big Thief, U.S. Girls, Protomartyr) to put the final touches on the record. Guitarist Kora Puckett (Bugg, ex-Sheer Mag), who previously logged hours as a live member in the tours preceding the LP, would join Narrow Head as a full-fledged member following the album’s completion.
Using distorted guitars as their primary vehicle, Narrow Head’s wall of riffs add stark contrast to their best quality– deceptively sweet pop melodies. With 12th House Rock, not only will Narrow Head have Houston’s attention, but the entire rock world as well, giving us one of 2020’s most impressive releases. 12th House Rock is available 28th August, 2020 through Holy Roar Records.
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