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Shout 4 Music (UK) Album Review: TTNG 13.0.0.0.0



Though it’s been quite a while in coming, there’s no doubting that the new This Town Needs Guns record is worth the increased wait. The band could very easily have called it quits after the departure of Stuart Smith and Jamie Cooper in 2011, but they’re still here, albeit as a slimmed-down three-piece. There’s nothing slimmed-down about the sound of ‘13.0.0.0.0’, though - it’s as full-on as anything else the band have produced up til now, and as usual it tends to veer in rather unexpected directions, focusing on acoustic beauty with ‘2 Birds, 1 Stone and an Empty Stomach’ and ‘Nice Riff, Clichard’ (the latter of which throws some glitchy rhythms into the mix), and seeing the band let their hair down with the extended outro to ‘I’ll Take the Minute Snake’. Their technical mastery remains undiminished, even if their second album is, on the whole, less frenetic than 2008 debut ‘Animals’, and the band veer into pop-like territory more often than before (especially on the brilliantly-titled ‘+3 Awesomeness Repels Water’). We don’t want to resort to cliché and call this a ‘maturation’ of the TTNG sound, but the more accessible approach taken on the album works wonders, and should bring them a whole ton of new admirers.


Oxford Music Album Review: This Town Needs Guns

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Call me a conspiracist, but I reckon it’s more than aesthetics behind that album title. 13.0.0.0.0. Day 1 in the renewed Mayan calendar (remember, the one that was supposed to spell the end of the world?). This Town Needs Guns; a band who have lost 5 members, 3 of them founders, in only 7 years, and yet have battled out to the other side triumphantly waving a beaut new album replete with beaut mayan-inspired artwork. This is a celebration album, a celebration of renewal, fresh starts, blank slates.

Yes, a possible crock of shit, and unlike JFK, TTNG are close on hand to raise the red flag. But whether or not they’re calling attention to it, this is a new band. Gone are the earnest wails and mad frantic drums; in their place are falsetto touches and jazz-tainted restraint. There are no ‘heavy bits’ anymore, just ‘louder bits’. To be honest the new sound has been very much a work in progress, and will seem a very logical progression to anyone who was a fan of the beautiful Big Scary Monsters-released Animals. If that album was building the ship, with this one, they’ve fully set sail, and if only three of em made it to the voyage, then so much the better – this is a tighter, better calibrated TTNG, a band with far less audible waste than before; In short, This Town Needs Guns have grown up.

It really is a stunning LP, executed by stunning musicians. ‘+3 Awesomeness Repels Water’ is a particularly choice cut, coming in near the end of the track and acting somewhat as a summing up of the lessons learnt throughout, a veritable crash course in harmony. The real comfort though is listening to the album as a whole – the flow is exceptional, oscillating carefully between straight polyrythmic drivers and softer drifters. It’s a feat rarely accomplished these days, and one that deserves maximum kudos.

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Mind Equals Blown: Gives This Town Needs Guns 13.0.0.0.0 a 9.0 Review

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The sophomore LP can present any number of obstacles for even the most surefooted band. Throw in member changes and the equation gets even a bit more fuzzy. But when you’re talking about This Town Needs Guns, the expectations even considering all of that are still present, if not also a tad tremendous. Nevertheless, the U.K. quartet turned power trio has returned with LP #2 in the form of 13.0.0.0.0, a slightly less poppy but arguably more adventurous offering than their previous album Animals. And for what they’ve been through in the years since that release, it’s a more than pleasant surprise that this record not only lives up to such heightened expectations, but completely obliterates them in the process.

Right off the bat, “Cat Fantastic” enforces a high level of musicianship from all three members that is carried quite effortlessly through the rest of the 12 tracks on the disc. Whether it’s ethereal tapping (“Havoc in the Forum”), free-flowing meters of strange proportions (“Triptych”) or the gorgeous chemistry of all involved (“Left Aligned”), it is simply astonishing at times what This Town Needs Guns can do. The tempos here fall a bit on the less pushing side, as the slower, acoustic lushness of “2 Birds, 1 Stone and an Empty Stomach” or the mid-tempo pulsing of “+3 Awesomeness Repels Water” feel just as good to the ears as earlier TTNG cuts that invoked more dancing than an actual vibe.

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The Aquarian Album Review: This Town Needs Guns 13.0.0.0.0

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Oxford, UK native trio This Town Needs Guns have named their latest work 13.0.0.0.0. The indie rock compilation features an assortment of uniquely titled tracks, all with an air of melodic serenity battling frantic instruments. Beginning with “Cat Fantastic,” the clear notes of vocalist Henry Tremain ring out over the lighthearted, technical style of playing that pours out of these musicians. Everything about their sound is understated, including their whimsical lyrics that in “Cat Fantastic” repeat, “You’ll be happy when you’re willing to share.” The vocals are bordering on being poppy at moments, while the instrumental work is unexpected and pioneers new territory.

On “Havoc In The Forum,” the group accentuate complicated time signatures with drums that occur without rhyme or reason, but somehow marry the combating musical forces. Even with an uncommon structure, the song has a memorable quality to it, as does the following cut, “Left Aligned.” Here the guitar playing takes a progressive turn, as the pace slows and the bass grows in volume. This song rides along with complex chord progressions as its backbone. An instrumental number takes the disc in a moody, gloomier direction, blending the individual pieces together. The unorthodox manner in which This Town Needs Guns arrange their music does not sway the listener from continuing on in the journey that 13.0.0.0.0 becomes.

“I’ll Take The Minute Snake” is super harmonic at first with its riffs and then soon following with a chorus that mimics the lead line beautifully. Once again, the song heads in a progressive and erratic direction. The fingerprint of This Town Needs Guns is a one-of-a-kind distinction from any other band within the confines of contemporary indie rock. Their technical, methodic performing allows their music to shine, unparalleled on 13.0.0.0.0.

In A Word: Profound

—by , January 7, 2013


Golden Plec Album Review: This Town Needs Guns 13.0.0.0.0

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This Town Needs Guns
have faced their fair share of setbacks since the release of their debut album, ‘Animals’ over 3 years ago. Cutting numbers back from a foursome to a trio and replacing your vocalist is no easy task, particularly for a band whose signature vocals have made them a staple of the math rock community in the UK.

On ’13.0.0.0.0′ This Town Needs Guns return to form with what they do best; creative time signatures, beautifully translucent vocals and drumming that’s so tight it’s hard to believe it’s made at the hands of a human. The development of the band over the last few years all comes down to this.

Emphasizing Tim Collis’ unbelievable use of a guitar, in melodies so technically beautiful, ’13.0.0.0.0′ takes on its own character, with an ambition to prove themselves once again as textural instrumentals such as In The Branches of Yggdrasil and Nice Riff Clichard  will testify.

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Musical Mathematics (Leeds UK) Album Review: This Town Needs Guns 13.0.0.0.0

Label: Sargent House
Release date: January 22, 2013

Progressing from their staple four-piece line up to a tight-knit trio, with Ex-Pennines front man Henry Tremain picking up where long-running vocalist Stewart Smith left off, This Town Needs Guns haven’t been without their share of setbacks. But with the announcement of a brand new record titled 13.0.0.0.0, the band – now currently consisting of Tremain alongside Tim & Chris Collis – are back, producing some of their most astounding music to date.

Kicking off this twelve track, ‘Cat Fantastic’ works as a delightfully apt opener; restoring and familiarizing the listener with the band’s differences and similarities from past recordings. The intricacies of masterful guitar, the impeccable groove-filled rhythm, the essential slick bass, it’s all here, like nothing has changed, yet with the addition of Tremain – both vocally and physically – This Town’s outlook feels different, sounds familiar, acting as a different entity.

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