Published May 24, 2009Hardcore has never been so haunted, so minimalist and so dissonant as it is on New Distances, the first full-length from Narrows, featuring ex-members of Botch, These Arms Are Snakes, Unbroken, Some Girls, etc. Their self-titled debut three-track EP was a little more forceful; it was a release teeming with tremors and spasms. Full-length effort New Distances combines that sound with angular, reverberating tones and the gruff vocals of Dave Verellen (Botch), allowing the contrast to create an aura that isn't found in many other likeminded acts. New Distances starts in a familiar vein with "Chambered," an up-tempo, scathing burst of instrumentation with ghoulish melodic guitar tones, Verellen's unmistakable voice and the ability to switch the pace at a moment's notice. This album floats between the waters of the latter and the waves of "A Restoration Effect" and "Gypsy Kids," where atmosphere is the driving force of this ship; it draws more heavily from instrumental music than it does traditional hardcore styles. Regardless of its dichotomy, New Distances finds its balance by offering a stable passage between swelling waves of cryptic tones and the crashing tides of aggressive music.
Your self-titled EP was very well received by the underground community and built high expectations for New Distances. Did you feel any pressure while writing/recording?
Verellen: Nope, this record has lived up to our expectations, and those are the only ones I care about. This record isn't to please anyone but ourselves.
Do you feel that your accomplishments and notoriety from Botch act as pros or cons for Narrows?
Pros. Obviously people want to hear another Botch record, so maybe they'll buy this one thinking it's just that, but it won't be. The rest is up to them.
When Narrows formed, did you feel any pressure, in terms of people's expectations, considering the pedigree of yourself and the other members?
No, we don't think of ourselves like other people think of us. These are just my friends I get to make music with, just like Botch was, just like all bands should be.
When you started working on New Distances, was the game plan to write a record musically similar to the self-titled EP or do something a bit different?
No plans, man, just musicians with a deadline.
New Distances, to me, feels a bit slower-paced than the EP, with more haunting atmospheric textures. Would you agree and was it a priority to expand the sound?
Yes, it's more atmospheric. I think we enjoyed creating a "feel" on this release. There was never a discussion, that I'm aware of, regarding the EP and expansion.
Narrows boast a very talented and infamous line-up of musicians. What are your thoughts about working with the other guys in the band and how did Narrows come together?
Like I said before, we don't view ourselves like other people do. I've said many times that I don't think a band like this would work with other folks in it. They are a chill bunch of creative types.
Your biography mentioned that there are some pretty serious distances between where everyone lives. How do you guys keep it together and make Narrows work?
It's sparse; we use email and make the most of meetings/practices/tours. It's a challenge, but it's fun and takes the pressure off of us to be a "real" band.
Will the distances between cause any hindrances to the band, and what are your goals with Narrows?
Narrows exists for selfish reasons, we want to release music, play amazing places and basically get the most out of this racket. (Deathwish Inc.)