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.