Narrow Head: Moments of Clarity

Classifying Texas rock band Narrow Head’s sound as grunge, or even post-grunge, is fair, especially when you consider the band’s love of bash and crash drumming over exploding distorted guitars, à la Smashing Pumpkins, as well as their fondness for loud-quiet-loud production. Now, classifying Narrow Head’s sound as alternative metal may be a bit of a stretch, especially since singer Jacob Duarte’s vocals are consistently melodic and only once on their latest album does he ever utilize a timbre that might be considered rough or aggro. Classifying Narrow Head’s sound as shoegaze is absolutely ridiculous. Just stop it! The warping of overlapped guitars during part of one song does not a My Bloody Valentine make.

Moments of Clarity is Narrow Head’s third studio album, and it’s a long, painful listen, especially for anyone who lived through the grunge years and the horrific American rock radio fallout and myriad terrible bands that arrived in the wake of the genre’s heyday. On Moments of Clarity, Narrow Head manage to ape just about every mainstream alt rock cliché from the worst of the worst. It’s clear after one listen to this dross that a couple, maybe all, of Narrow Head’s members grew up being subjected to their parents’ Candlebox and Creed CDs, and for that one can only pity these guys for having to be born to folks with such awful taste in music.

Don’t misunderstand, Narrow Head are competent musicians, and the production on Moments of Clarity is decent, but either these guys have burned through any original ideas they might have had on their prior two records, or they never had them in the first place, or maybe they truly love mimicking hackneyed garbage. Regardless, if you lived through the grunge years and never want to go back, don’t bother. If you’re too young to remember, or you’re still rocking out to that Three Days Grace CD from the aughts, have at it.

Rating: 2.0/10

Listen on Apple Music

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