Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Artist to Artist: The Narrows vs. Metamusic

Right, so here's a newie. Two bands I'm mates with review each other's record. No, I'm not just too lazy to write them myself, look at all the reviews I've written below! Jeez, some people....

The Narrows
Initials MM
Review by Phil Morris - Metamusic

The magnetic composition of the synth driven, yet entirely symphonic introduction would make even Damon Albarn re-shingle his Plastic Beach. All at once, you are taken back to new prog roots, with sinister guitars prompting fond thoughts of Showbiz. Abruptly, you are snapped into a groove that would make Kyuss moist with satisfaction. Notwithstanding, this melting pot of brilliance is served with a twist. 

Imagine if Josh Homme didn’t just play guitar for Kyuss, imagine he applied the masterfully haunted vocals of QOTSA to the head banging stoner rock of his earlier endeavours. This musing of optimal reality comes close to Narrows’ Initials MM. In essence, it makes me want to kick a rattlesnake's face clean off.

World to Come
Review by Phil Drinkwater - The Narrows
The first thing that springs to mind when listening to Metamusic’s wonderful EP is balance; the idea of balancing two separate and distinct styles. It’s one of the key factors that makes their music, ironically, seem so together – so complete. Their fusing of elements of electronica with the sounds of guitar-based precision is one of the defining aspects of World To Come and one of the things which make the EP a truly immersive listen.

The first two tracks – 'World To Come' and 'Little Short of Being' – introduce these electronic elements in a subtle but highly effective way and start to merge them with delicate guitars that occasionally erupt into something altogether more fierce. The EP then veers into a different direction – all Seattle Sounds and some quite brilliant drums that further add to the sense that this feels less like an EP and more like the journey we are used to taking on a truly accomplished album. 

The last part of this odyssey comes together on the sublime closer 'Everyvolcanicashcloudhasasilverlining' – a return to the sense of balance mentioned earlier – albeit with the most experimental electronics featured on the EP. Lastly, the whole thing is tied together with layered but raw-sounding vocals that float over the music and punctuate it beautifully at all the right points.

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