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CD REVIEW

The Narrowbacks: Arrogance & Ignorance

by Matt Inman on March 13, 2017
The Narrowbacks make music that is decidedly meant to be listened to in a crowded bar. The New York-based six-piece brings the energy required for such circumstances, but with enough restraint that the subtle instrumental and vocal melodies—along with the not-so-subtle sing-along choruses—can be easily discerned in the bedlam, making for a satisfying experience whether drinking alone or with old friends. Either way, there probably should be whiskey involved. The band shows off a few of their sides with Arrogance & Ignorance, however. At their most bombastic, The Narrowbacks nod to the collective Irish heritage of their members, crafting tunes that are well-informed by traditional Irish music, but with a punk edge—like Dropkick Murphys songs with less aggression, better vocals and more of a singer-songwriter air about them—such as album standout “Loisaida,” ska-infused opener “The Banner County” and the soccer-stadium-rallying-cry of “Ole.” The more reserved moments of the album, like “Prodigal Son” and “Out on the Avenue,” nevertheless maintain that driving shuffle, allowing the band’s lyrics to shine through a bit more—telling  stories of New York City, love, loss and, of course, whiskey.

The Narrowbacks will headline New York's Bowery Ballroom this Friday, March 17. Tickets are available here.

Authors: Matt Inman
Artist: The Narrowbacks
Album: Arrogance & Ignorance
Label: Self-Released

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