Music | Review | NARCS – A Thinking Animal

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Out 8th July via Clue Records

Rating: 8/10

By Kieran Webber

As many of you are probably aware; the UK is in a turbulent time, the British people voted out of the European Union, cuts and slashes have been made to the public sector for the last 5 years and to top it all off we are about to have an unelected Tory Prime minister.

To say British politics is in a fucking weird state would be an understatement. Britain as an island, as a nation, is spiralling into¬†something¬†that I don’t care for.

All this turmoil has aided in creating one of the most important and politically driven bands in the last 10 years:¬†NARCS. Their debut album could not have come at a better time- the band have always been politically driven but, much like the British public, it feels the band has hit boiling point. This can be heard throughout their new record, ¬†‘A Thinking Animal’.¬†From beginning to end, it is dripping in rage, angst and fury and directs¬†that emotion straight at¬†the people who owe¬†us answers.

The album opens with the pulsing, percussion led ‘Drains’,¬†which is bursting at the seams with a haunting and unapologetic energy, whilst snarling vocals hover over the track. ¬†A similar vibe and atmosphere¬†is felt through the whole album, particularly in ‘Raus!’, ‘Empathy The Dog’ and ‘Told You I Was Ill’.

It’s not all snarls and in-your-face brashness, however, and tracks such as ‘Bullingdon Boys’ show off the band’s more subtle side. This particular track still has a sharp edge but the¬†rage¬†takes the backseat whilst you are caressed by ¬†softer vocals and less chaotic riffs.

The closing track, ‘Pilot Light’, also dips its toes in more tranquil waters (for the first half at least). It¬† opens with soft plucks of the guitar and warm vocals but slowly escalates¬†into madness. The drums kick in, the guitar becomes¬†a whirlwind of notes and the snarling vocals make their return.

The album as a whole is a fantastic and important piece of work, and it is clear the band hit the studio with an idea, and a message of the damning inequality of this current government. They have done this with expertise and crafted an album that not only floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee.