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THE NARROWS – Alligator (LP/CD, Wäntage USA/Tapes Records WAN032)

Posted: November 4th, 2004, by Simon Minter

Remember ‘slowcore’? You know, Codeine, Red House Painters, Bedhead, Low, all o’ that stuff? Langurous, stretched-out melancholia with an undercurrent of anger and noise? The Narrows are still ploughing that nicely miserable furrow, and this release (a compilation of two previously-released albums) proves that they’re on the button with the dangerous combination of fuzz-drenched guitar and long, slow songs.

It is, naturally, maudlin as fuck, but you have to love that. I’ve always thought that the saddest of sad songs have a weirdly uplifting effect, and when that’s combined with outbursts of guitar noise and minor-key melodies stretched taut over many minutes (as on this release) the result is a winner. Let’s sum it up with an incredible cliche: “perfect music for evenings spent alone”. Yeah, this is hardly party-party music. But parties are overrated anyway.

By the way, the vinyl version is packaged in a gatefold sleeve featuring a pop-up crocodile. In case you get too depressed.


Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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