Narrow Head have released a new ’90s alt-metal inspired track, “Hard to Swallow.” The track comes from the band’s upcoming album, 12th House Rock, which is planned for release on August 28 via Run For Cover Records.
Mixing sounds of ’90s grunge and alt-metal, “Hard To Swallow” blends similarities with Deftones, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins and Failure. Blurring the lines between underground and mainstream, “Hard To Swallow” thrives in feedback as Jacob Duarte’s voice circles around each lyric. His ragged screams reverberate through the chorus. His lyrics hint at being detached from those around him, singing “Waking up now is such a bore.” Duarte explores themes of self-medication and trying to find an escape from problems within.
The guitars and bass emphasize the heavy sounds, each instrument loud and explorative of the ’90s alt era. Narrow Head manages to bring a refreshing twist to the sound, bringing in lower sounds which drag and add to the meaning behind each lyric. The band embodies each emotion behind what Duarte sings, where one is struggling to find meaning with their day to day life and searching for a spark of inspiration. In a press statement, Duarte described his inspiration as coming from the band Helmet and Bad Brains’ album Quickness.
Narrow Head comes from the Texas DIY scene, first forming in Houston in 2013 before releasing their debut album Satisfaction in 2016. The upcoming 12th House Rock will be Narrow Head’s sophomore album as Duarte explores themes of loss, self-loathing and searching for redemption.
“A lot of the record was made in the late hours and early morning,” Duarte said in a press statement. “Those quite moments alone when utter silence and my self-medication made it impossible to escape from my own thoughts. It was also from a specific time when I didn’t take care of myself and made bad decisions in all aspects of my life. These songs were a way out, temporarily anyway.”
In addition to being the band’s lead vocalist, Duarte plays guitar alongside William Menjivar, while Carson Wilcox plays drums and Ryan Chavez produces and plays bass. “Hard To Swallow” comes as the third single from 12th House Rock and follows “Stuttering Stanley” and “Night Tryst.”