This is How They Kill Us – Shit Narnia [Single Review]

Photo: Amber Bateup

Photo: Amber Bateup

Words: Axel Carrington

They list themselves as 'shitty, unintelligible gutter punk', which of course, this is anything but: Shit Narnia are perhaps the best, and most important, band to exist in Perth right now. Of course, beginning a review with such hyperbole and disregard for the essay form probably doesn't endear me to you, dear reader, but I'd like to think we shouldn't mince words or hide behind a reaction – if you want to save around 500 more words, just know that this song is beautiful and this band is vital.

The Narns have been steadily building a fan base and reputation over the past two years or so, give or take a month, for their incendiary live show, built on sweat and passion and sheer volume and attack, with their first EP Welcome to New LA being dropped extremely early this year. Although it was quality, no doubt, it was still a picture of a band in flux, searching for their sound, finding their footing and the greatest link between message and delivery. For all of its bluster and noise, the most exciting passages of that release where the little moments, a drop in tempo, a decrescendo or a little tear of silence. This is How They Kill Us has these elements in spades and I cannot applaud enough the delicacy and restraint showed by those lovely Pritchard's, Albert and Wills and little Sam Atkin, the guitarist I've never tired of listening to and always aspired to sound like. Those little sound scapes, those scrapes of church bell chimes, the smattering of floor toms stumbling down the stairs, that steady rumble and tumble of the bass: to continue in this direction would be to reach ever upward.

More than this, the maturity and growth in nuance of Hugh Manning, the forever shirtless and forever large hearted singer and poet, is one to behold – the confidence of self, the sheer bounce and lift of his prose, and the passion, the passion, the passion. I wanted to avoid the word passionate in this review, it seemed obvious, betraying your intelligence – but I'll be fucking damned if this isn't the textbook definition of what that is. No doubt there is pain and inner conflict among us all, our little faults and failings that defy our waking life and perhaps defile our inner one. Even throughout my personal depressions and sinking lows, I have never felt unsure of my own body, of my own self – to be powerful enough to lead people in a singalong of:

This is how they kill us, with this self-doubt they fill us.

To rise above the confusion, the prejudice and the hatred is nothing short of remarkable, for me. Shit Narnia are a rock band, no question, with all those tropes that this definition may entail – what they are also is an intelligent band, a worldly one, a group that seek, that observe and bring all the disparate ones together, to let those lost moor to a place of acceptance and love.

Essentially, this band is fucking dope and deserve all the good will they receive – await their upcoming release with baited breath.