Essential New Music: TTNG’s “Disappointment Island”


Out of the gate, nitpickers will notice this Oxford, England, band shucking the This Town Needs Guns moniker for its acronym. Whether it’s a sensitivity to the rash of gun violence throughout the market they’re trying to break into or because they’ve let the terrorists win is something you can debate at the next Trump rally. More important is the band’s paring down to a trio, with vocalist Henry Tremain adding bass to his duties. The change is subtle but noticeable.

The influence guitarist Tim Collis nabs from the Minus The Bear/Cap’n Jazz school and the skittering patterns of his drummer brother Chris pile intricate layers atop melodies on “Coconut Crab,” “In Praise Of Idleness” and “Whatever, Whenever,” songs already a heartening smidge away from tech-yacht rock. Occasionally, Tremain struggles to find a home amid the Collis’ calm chaos, though his restrained and sustained bass lines are a non-cluttering foil demonstrating the importance of song dynamics, which isn’t always a priority with math rockers.

—Kevin Stewart-Panko