Album release: 'A Thinking Animal' by NARCS
Release date: 8 July 2016
Label: Clue Records
More info: Band website
Pouring fury on driven-alternative-indie noise, Leeds quartet NARCS create a unique blend of passionate lyrical incisiveness with powerful, spine-cracking intensity and the occasional shaman-like rantings of a possessed mad man. Following on from their dark and tense recent single ‘Pig’ the band are now gearing up to release their new album ‘A Thinking Animal’, which will be released via Clue Records (home to the likes of: Allusondrugs and Forever Cult).
Describing their sound as “guitar-centred alt-rock aimed at Tory scum”, ‘A Thinking Animal’ is a visceral attack on political apathy. It’s a passionate yet desolate onslaught on topics such as misogyny, greed, nepotism and self-loathing. However, this shouldn’t be taken as en-vogue right-wing sledging or liberalism, the content is both intelligent and sincere.
Tracks such as the aforementioned single ‘Pig’ are a brooding statement of intent, pushed on by rumbling bass while the guitars scream as hard as the impassioned vocals, building throughout before bursting into a frenzied finish. Elsewhere on the album tracks such as ‘Bullingdon Boys’ carry the same venom, with verses that exchange caustic guitars for trenchant lyrics and vocal style and cacophonous instrumental sections that culminating in a volatile rhythmically driven end section, which conveys the bands frustration and dejection at current state of the country’s political and social status.
Speaking on the new album Joe (guitarist) said, “This album came out the way it did because we’ve always used music as an outlet for the darker stuff that we needed to vent. At the moment, the way things are, we just got drawn back to the root of our anger and frustration time and time again: the ruling class, the political class, Etonites, whatever you want to call them. In a better time, we’d never have written this album. Hopefully we never need to write another one like it.
Having said that, we are unapologetic about absolutely everything we are saying on this record. We want to see things change, we want people to feel anger instead of apathy; we’re under no illusions of being any kind of revolution leaders but we’re definitely of the opinion that music changes mood and just being able to connect your frustration to that of a band/song/lyric can make shit a bit easier to get through.
Ultimately we wanted to aim this at the people who actually deserve it. There’s nothing more pathetic than artists of any type striving to seek popularity through attacking small fry.Everyone outside of the ruling class is so busy bickering over small details that we’re still stuck in some sort of feudal system that we’ve been duped into thinking is a democracy.
We hope people enjoy the album, we hope it brings people whatever they’re looking for at this shitty period in history: comfort, motivation, inspiration, and anger, whatever.”
2015 saw the band play Leeds & Reading Festival, Long Division, Tramlines, complete a full UK tour, whilst picking up acclaim from BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, Noisey and more. This year has already seen the band play the DIY stage and Live at Leeds, and Leicester’s Handmade Festival, with 2000 Trees, Tramlines and a number of other dates confirmed for later this year.
As a whole body of work ‘A Thinking Animal’ is a punishing yet driving album, which mercilessly fires on all targets. It is the product of both dejection, vexation and resentment for the shape of current affairs, and is both a battle-cry and a wake-up call, which urges you to stand up with the band and scream along with them.