TTNG
Animals


4.0
excellent

Review

by David Driver USER (78 Reviews)
December 4th, 2009 | 81 replies | 25,078 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Highlighted by a virtuoso lead guitarist, This Town Needs Guns releases a largely impressive debut that is slightly marred by one single flaw.

12 of 12 thought this review was well written

Those who haven’t heard This Town Needs Guns, a math rock band with indie subtleties, are in for a real treat. Their debut album, Animals, is an impressive, stylistic effort that has plenty of technical ability coupled with strong melodies and heartfelt vocals, and the combination of mathy time signatures with a strong indie sound is really unique and one-of-a-kind.

What you’re bound to notice right away about Animals is the blistering guitar lines: the swirling melodies and busy lead lines of the guitar is the bread and butter of the album, as every song on the album features a plethora of speedy guitar taps, picks and sweeps. The singer’s melancholy voice perfectly compliments the melodic underpinnings of the guitar parts, while the drums and bass try to anchor the ever-changing time signatures. There are plenty of unique elements housed within every song’s sound to make them interesting, and there’s always something to hang onto for every song, whether it be a cool guitar line, a catchy vocal line or an unusual string of time changes.

As a whole, Animals features a collection of incredibly strong songs. “Chinchilla” “Panda” and “Pig” are more upbeat songs that have a strong drive through-out, while “Baboon”, “Badger” and “Rabbit” are more mid-tempo and rely on their enveloping melodic settings. “Lemur” and “Dog” are kind of mixture of the two previous approaches, featuring busier drums but more melodic guitar, bass and vocals, while “Crocodile”, “Elk” and “Zebra” are enjoyable, heartfelt breathers that feature much slower tempos. The only real dud on the album comes from “Gibbon”, which I find too meandering, but overall, there is hardly a bad song to be found on the entire album.

But the main problem that many are sure to find with Animals, however, is the steep listening curve: it will probably take at least a dozen listens before you can decipher and digest the music, thanks to the uninhibited guitar, the frantic time signatures and the overall bittersweet tone of the album. Some people will find the album to be one gigantic, muddled mess that all sounds the same, and I couldn’t really blame them for thinking that, as Animals isn’t all that accessible. After a few more listens, though, the crazy drumming and guitar noodling sounds coherent, and the sweet-natured indie songs come to grow on you. There are plenty of subtle variations to be found in each song that listeners can pick up on after a handful of listens, but it takes times to notice them, resulting in Animals to be a chore for some.

Overall, Animals is an impressive effort with a unique style and sound. Fans of technical guitar lines, mathy structures and passionate indie vocals will have a lot to sink their teeth into, but just be prepared to be a lot of work into digesting the songs. With plenty of the subtle melodies and progressions that shine through after several hearings, this band is definitely one of the most artistic groups that have come around in a while, and it will be interesting to see how This Town Needs Guns evolve their sound for their upcoming sophomore album.



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user ratings (544)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
drewcordova (3)
There are two sides to the coin....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Kyle
December 4th 2009



667 Comments


Ahh nice one for reviewing this, I've been a This Town Needs Guns fan for aaages but I think they're a bit off the Sputnik radar.

Was initially a bit let down by this, but as you say the songs really grow on you. Awesome band.

Roach
December 4th 2009



2149 Comments


self titled was better

WatchItExplode
December 4th 2009



3182 Comments


only heard baboon but dug it, may dl: pos

HighandDriving
December 4th 2009



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm thinking about bumping up my score to 3.5, I'm going to have to re-listen to this bad boy.

Good review, pos'd.

Digging: Nightmares - Suspiria

dancelogandance
December 4th 2009



38 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review.

this took a good amount of time for me to digest but now i really dig it

you're dead wrong about gibbon though, it's a highlight in my book

Chewie
December 4th 2009



4531 Comments


I really like cartoony album covers.

dylantheairplane
December 4th 2009



2164 Comments


can someone define math rock for me?

Prophet178
December 4th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It has to do with the time signatures and odd meters, usually categorized by two finger tapping techniques and quick progressions. And then obviously the rock part should be pretty apparent.

EasternLight
December 4th 2009



2700 Comments


sounds like A Voice Like Rhetoric

Bandido
December 5th 2009



815 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've tried a few times to get into this band. Should I just keep listening, and it will sink in?

avenge the dead
December 6th 2009



21 Comments


The more you listen to it the better it gets in my opinion.


^ Give them a couple more listens. If you still don't dig it, no harm. Or maybe you will fall in love. Who knows.

dcha
March 17th 2010



990 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The guys voice got me too listen. (Will I be smited if I mention "Cartel"?)

This band and album are really great.

playswithpassion
April 27th 2010



275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review but Gibbon is actually one of my favorites on the album...I'm also glad that the old review is gone too.

Relinquished
June 2nd 2010



24373 Comments


great album even if it sounds the same in parts

TheyTookOurJobs
July 1st 2010



1318 Comments


Awesome band

sniper
August 11th 2010



18929 Comments


Guitar lines are so liquid you can drink them.

Vocals are so boring though. Minus the Squared.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

sniper
August 15th 2010



18929 Comments


Nvm this is awesome.

[noodly guitar line clicky drums bassline lala vox]

4'd

sniper
September 19th 2010



18929 Comments


Me too.

Avirov
October 22nd 2010



1206 Comments


But the main problem that many are sure to find with Animals, however, is the steep listening
curve


If this is the only problem you can find in the album, it sounds like a 4.5.

HaloDude442
October 22nd 2010



692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like it



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