Monday, 15 September 2008

This Town Needs Guns – Animals

‘Animals’ is the debut album from Oxford’s gleaming super sharpshooters, This Town Needs Guns. The album is coming out on the top-notch Big Scary Monsters, where they have previously released a split EP with another excellent band Cats and Cats and Cats, which featured the songs, ’26 is dancier than 4’ and the brilliantly titled, ‘It’s not true Rufus, don’t listen to the hat’. This is their debut solo outing and what a cracker it is too.

By the looks of Animals This Town Needs Guns have been going to the zoo a lot, as each title is named after a creature. But more about zoo’s later maybe… TTNG are a very talented bunch that make stripped back polished indie gems. Their amazing and agile instrument skills and a beautiful shimmering clean sound bring the song writing right to the forefront. The vocals are sweet and add an emotional kick to the tracks. I can’t stress enough how good these guys are on their instruments; the guitar licks are so intricate and catchy. The bass section is tight and Jazzy, while the drums skip and dance around the tracks.

Their sound echoes beautifully influences as far and wide as Don Caballero’s math infused technicality and Owls sweet emotion drenched indie pop along with other bands from that mathy Chicago indie scene like Cap’n’Jazz. I can even here a bit of sparkly jazz of the likes of Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters era productions or African township music, only in sprit mind.

‘Chinchilla’ sets the tone perfectly with the sweet and complex melodies; Tim on guitar must have at least six hands to make this kind of sound. He taps on and off with masses of skill and agility while plucking one off or strumming another, I don’t know the proper guitar playing terms. ‘Lemur’ has the coolest intro and the catchy chorus of, ‘you know from the get go, its over’ that I keep finding myself singing. That is one of the best tracks as is the single, ‘Panda’ a beautiful song that keeps growing on me with every listen. The pounding jazz drumming propels it forward as the saccharine vocals sweep over the top of the building guitar lines.

‘Rabbit’ and ‘Zebra’ finish the album off with some beautiful orchestral manoeuvres that melt to the rest of the instruments wonderfully. The final track is a twinkling music box serenade that leaves you wanting more… They make music that is so accessible and has a kind of straight up indie structure, yet the instrumentation is of the highest and most complex technicality that it makes it truly stand out.

This Town Needs Guns debut Animals is a gem of a record that grows subtly and works its way into your mind with each listen until each song just brings a smile to your face. Animals is very assured and mature for such a young band, and I’m glad they went to the zoo for inspiration as the songs both sound as complex as nature its self yet warm and fuzzy like only animals can be.

Buy it:

This Town Needs Guns – Panda

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