Review by Shannon Shumaker
TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) waste no time in immersing you in their world on Disappointment Island. In fact, within seconds, the band’s third full-length’s title quickly seems almost ironic, considering how not disappointing it is. Stunning guitar work, smooth easy to listen to vocals and a spectacular rhythm section blend together easily on Disappointment Island, giving listeners an incredible listening experience without ever feeling like too much.
“Coconut Crab” opens up the album with beautiful sweeping guitar and bass work and drum fills that will blow your mind. The vocals are soft and pretty, but the guitar definitely takes the lead, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing. The way that every instrument works in harmony on “Coconut Crab” really sets the mood and tempo for the rest of the album, which continues with “A Chase Of Sorts.” Guitar takes the lead once more in the beginning of the second song, a little faster paced as the title would suggest. The instrumentals feel a little more frantic, and it almost feels like a push and pull between the guitar, drums and bass while stunning vocals float easily over them all.
Before the wild instrumentals become too overwhelming, the somber “Consoling Ghosts” comes in and shakes things up in the best way possible. The change of pace from the fast, nearly frantic guitar work in “A Chase Of Sorts” is not only welcomed, but it shows versatility from TTNG.
The complexity in the instrumentals is easily the strongest part about Disappointment Island, at times making the album very easy to listen to, as it flows together very well, and other times, giving you a little something more to chew on. Either way, this is definitely an album that you will need to devote your full attention to, because it is very easy to miss something incredible if you get distracted for just one moment. The ever changing guitar work, intricate bass and drums as well as the differing moods are simply too good to miss a single moment, anyway. For instance, “Whatever, Whenever” is very bright and upbeat, but toward the end of the song, it opens up into this very slow and mellow guitar part that nearly feels meditative. That sound then flows easily into “Bliss Quest,” which starts very slow before becoming more complex and upbeat as it goes on.
Because of the complexity of each song, it may take a few listens to fully grasp them, but that shouldn’t be a problem, because Disappointment Island is well worth putting on repeat. And while some songs may not strike you right away, others like “Sponkulus Nodge” are impossible to ignore. Everything about the song is on point and works well together, from the deep bass and sweeping guitar work to the stunning vocals.
Disappointment Island is almost a meditative listening experience. These songs are both relaxing, but will also keep you on your toes, waiting for what comes next. The result is both a very easy and very difficult to listen to release, but one that will leave you feeling fulfilled.
Listen to "Whatever, Whenever"
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