Before beginning my review, I just wanted to get something out of the way. Yes, Dave Verellen and Ryan Frederiksen were in Botch. Narrows is by no means a reboot of Botch in the way The Chariot was with Norma Jean. Narrows have somehow stayed under the musical radar, even while being on such a popular label like Deathwish Inc. Their follow up to 2009's "New Distances" offers up 26 minutes of diverse hardcore. Verellen's unmistakable vocals dominate each track with precision while Fredericksen's angular and powerful guitars twist and turn.

New listeners looking to get an idea of Narrows' sound are best combining aspects of Botch's experimentation which was highlighted on "We Were Romans" and the ambience and dynamics of Fredericksen's other band These Arms Are Snakes. I chose to start this review after seeing them live at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia last week. Verellen's presence as a frontman is dominant, as he lept into the crowd during the first song, and kept everybody engaged throughout.

Tracks like "Absolute Betrayer" and "TB Positive" are the go to ragers on the album, while songs like "Greenland" display the band's experimentation. The only negative thing I have to say about the album is its short 26 minute length, and the fact that the 8 minute track "Greenland" is mainly noise and ambience. But thats a small personal gripe that should not sway you from checking this out.