“Nobody has riffs anymore,” says founding member/vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte when asked about his approach on 12th House Rock, Narrow Head’s highly anticipated LP for Run for Cover due on August 28. “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 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. “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.”
Duarte references specific songs on the record as touchstones within that dark period. “’Emmadazey’ and ‘Hard to Swallow’ were inspired by pharmaceuticals and when the people around you know that you’re making bad decisions but are afraid to tell you,” he reveals. “’Crankcase. is about staying up for days at a time, not eating and chain smoking.” Guitarist William Menjivar is also quick to add that “’Ponderosa’ is about big life choices and the empty feelings of ‘What if?’ thinking about whether or not your decision was the right one. In the end it doesn’t matter because you can never take it back.”
Narrow Head Links: Bandcamp | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Young Guv is Ben Cook.
Ben Cook is a songwriter, a dedicated and prolific songwriter of rare talent. The real deal.
In the summer of 2018, he moved from his Toronto home to a sublet in Brooklyn, and there he began writing some of the best songs of his life.
GUV II, out on Run For Cover in late October, is a collection of pop music — staggeringly poignant and infectious pop music — written and recorded by Ben Cook throughout that New York City summer. GUV II follows the eight tracks of the previously issued GUV I and completes the collection of songs Cook wrote during those inspired sessions.
Young Guv Links: Website | Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple