TTNG, <em></em>

There’s a strangely insectile feel to Oxford-bred trio TTNG’s newest album,, I think in part because the band (singer/guitarist Henry Tremain, guitarist Tim Collis, and drummer Chris Collis) never really stop moving, even in their quietest moments. Seemingly not a lot may be going on, but there’s always a sense of shifting movements underneath the surface, like worker drones scurrying back and forth in constant industry within a hive, unseen from the outside.

That motion is provided largely by Collis and Tremain’s ridiculously nimble, intricate, yet still somehow low-key guitars, which are the absolute focal point of despite their generally delicate, warm feel. The guitar lines practically dance around one another, entwining and then pulling away, coming close together but never quite touching.

On “I’ll Take the Minute Snake,” for example, the guitarists each sound like they’re playing something wholly separate, and yet they make it mesh together like it’s all one, like it’s all the same piece of music. Which is no mean feat, in my book — far too often, attempts at this sort of thing crash headlong into the wall, with the band collapsing into a disjointed mess. Here, fortunately, it works, and it’s freaking mesmerizing.

For most of the album, in fact, you can simply get lost in the sound of Tremain’s bedroom-pop vocals over those twisty, serpentine, technical-yet-organic guitars and the half-slipped, also sublimely proficient beats; sit back, and you’ll get hypnotized, at least until “Havoc In the Forum” comes sliding in, with its darker, more menacing feel, or the murky, brooding, Mogwai-like “In the Branches of Yggdrasil” begins, and then you’ll start to feel like you’ve stepped into some nasty, Something Wicked This Way Comes-esque carnival.

There’s more gentle warmth than menace here, mind you, with tracks like stellar opener “Cat Fantastic” — which essentially sets the stage for the rest of the album, and does it beautifully — or the cerebral “Left Aligned,” which is almost reminiscent of proggy instro-metal, specifically Scale The Summit (who also do that intricate-guitar-lines thing well). “2 Birds, 1 Stone and an Empty Stomach” is especially quiet and friendly, meandering and sweet like vintage Mineral.

It’s damn near impossible to get away from Mike Kinsella’s work in general while listening to; there’s elements of Cap’n Jazz and American Football, in particular, wandering through here, with the brainy guitar work of the former and the delicacy and warmth of the latter, albeit with a much heavier emphasis on the math-rock side of things. That said, the band handily steps beyond those influences and turns them into something that’s all their own, and I want to hear more of it.

[TTNG is playing 5/16/13 at Fitzgerald’s, along with Tera Melos & LIMB.]
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, May 16th, 2013. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “TTNG,

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: And So I Watch You From Afar (Rev’d!) + TTNG + John Fogerty + Funeral Horse + Oceans of Slumber + More on November 18th, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    […] Plus, they’re playing with Oxford band TTNG (formerly “This Town Needs Guns,” before this year), who are also pretty darn cool — they’re similarly prog-influenced, but quite a bit quieter and more thoughtful, with an almost jazz feel to it. They’re almost like a British American Football, really (and boy, is that a confusing sentence). SCR reviewed their latest album back in May, right here. […]

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