Although from an outsider’s perspective Narrow Lands look like a couple normal dudes, their music is probaby the heaviest, most brutal and sludge-tastic shit this side of the Melvins’ in their heyday. Music does not come any more terrifically black and bubbly, as horrifying riffs implode over bass lines thicker than the biceps of Danzig.
After seeing them a little over a week ago, and having my ears begging for mercy yet again, I had to ask their guitarist Alan Power about his favourite brutal records. Here they are, in all their glory:
Theme: Top 5 Most Intense Records
Preface: I could have cheated and gone for the black metal and hardcore stuff in my iTunes library that I never listen to but have tried to keep it real and only list stuff I actually listen or listened to regularly that’s had a vague influence on Narrow Lands. Ivan and Lee are probably better placed for this kinda list because they’re into way heavier fucked up shit than I am but Lee’s moving overseas and Ivan’s already programmed Rage so fuck those guys! My list!
WHORES – MOB REALITY The reason we have a song called Whores Rule. This 7″ is such an ugly, mongrel grind of a thing, I love it. Shitted that I never got to see them live, by the time I realised they were a thing they’d already pretty much petered out. Shaun Prescott said: “There are many bands that try their very hardest to be ugly, and horrible, and confronting, but Whores just kinda effortlessly are.”
ZOND – S/T This record is so dense and relentless, it kinda sounds like two or thee bands playing over the top of each other most of the time. This was my favourite record for about 2 years. Saw them at the Opera House for that Lou Reed noise night thing a few years back, they filled that place with the best sound I’ll ever hear at the Opera House. I didn’t even stick around for Lou Reed, figured that nothing was likely to top ZOND. Probably should have stuck around for Lou, really. Meh.
GIRLS PISSING ON GIRLS PISSING – EELING Man this record is depressing, I only ever listen to it when nobody’s in the house and I’m doing the dishes. It’s got all these heavy, droning horns, droning group vocals and a constant minor key weirdness, like Lakes meets Bathory meets a bunch of hypnotised satanists.
SWANS – NOT HERE NOT NOW We all saw Swans down at ATP in 2013 and it fucked me up forever. Half way through I pretty much had my head on Andrew’s shoulder, sobbing, thinking “fuck my band sucks! we’re hacks!” in the same voice as Wayne and Garth doing “We’re not worthy!” for Alice Cooper. It was about 50 degrees in that horrible big sports shed and Swans were the most immersive, intense thing I’ve ever seen or heard. Every band after them sucked that day, including Godspeed and MBV. ESPECIALLY Godspeed and MBV. In ‘Coward’, where he sings “stick your knife in me” I thought he was singing “stick around for a while” which seemed like a creepy thing to repeat in a song. Then when I realised that’s not what the words are, I semi-plagiarised my mis-heard version and used it in one of our songs. And that’s the way you write songs, kids.
SNAKEFACE – OBERON I went to high school in Blayney NSW, which isn’t far from Oberon. Both towns seemingly locked into an unofficial arm-wrestle over the prize for bleakest, coldest shit-hole every winter. I went to a “Maths Olympiad” day in Oberon where we were in this freezing school hall all day and I kept on going over to the urn to get free cups of International Roast coffee to try and warm up but it just made me need to piss all day and then my feet got so cold I couldn’t really feel them and by the end of the day I was twitching, shivering, numb, dehydrated and full of hate for Oberon. This album reminds me of that day.