Houston’s Narrow Head are fresh off of a nationwide tour. The brainchild of Jacob Duarte’s, the band wears his vast influences on its sleeve, in this case those of bands like My Bloody Valentine and britpop bands like Oasis. Houstonians may already be familiar with Duarte from some of his other bands he is in, including Skourge, a hardcore band that is as true to its roots as Narrow Head.
Duarte says he and the band learned a lot during the three weeks they were recently on tour. “In a way I’m not going to say the tour was a crazy huge success,” he reflects, “but it was nice seeing people that wanted to see us specifically at these shows. I feel very optimistic about 2018.”
This tour was for the band’s upcoming record, something that Duarte wants to “put out there and play it to as many people as possible until I get sick of it.” The new record will be the follow-up to 2016’s Satisfaction. When asked about satisfaction, Duarte jokes “If anyone says they like the first record more once [the new one] is out, then they’re an idiot. I got to listen to the first record a lot and noticed a lot of things I didn’t do that I should have done. Just because I’m saying that doesn’t mean our style is going to be different — it’s still us. It’s just going to be better.”
The band recently premiered the first track from the record, “Bulma.” The blistering bass intro, backed with the reverb-heavy guitar, channels My Bloody Valentine. And when the vocals kick in, it sounds very much Swervedriver. All it took was the chorus to hit for the song to be stuck in my head. The influences that prevail through the majority of Narrow Head’s material is no secret, either. “I’m not saying I want to push the genre to extremes, but I want to push our style and push boundaries as far as we can,” Duarte claims. “If you like the first record, you’re going to love this one.”
While Duarte is excited about the future of the band, he’s quick to point out that mass market success isn’t necessarily all they’re gaming for. “A label sounds nice, it’s necessary sometimes to expand your audience,” he says, “but at the end of the day that’s not what we care about.”
Though the new record is not available to the public, I am going to take Jacob’s word: “This record is going to be way better than the first one. Forget everything you know about the first record and listen to this one.”
Narrow Head is playing a gig with Deep Cuts, Plastic Picnic and Tee Vee at White Oak Music Hall on March 12.