Home | Magazine | Interviews | Profiles | Live Reviews | Re:View | Features | Reviews | Photography | News | Gigs | Comments
Pennyblack on facebook link Pennyblack on twitter link
Magazine A-Z

Subscribe to our twice monthly newsletter which will keep you informed of new reviews, interviews and radio shows as they go online

magazine home
live reviews
website of the month
album / single reviews

Contact us
If you would like to get in touch, please contact John Clarkson, the editor.

Current Writers
Adrian Huggins
Adrian Janes
Andrew Carver
Andy Cassidy
Anthony Dhanendran
Anthony Strutt
Benjamin Howarth
Bill Gray
Carl Bookstein
Chris O'Toole
Cila Warncke
Daniel Cressey
Dave Goodwin
Denzil Watson
Dixie Ernill
Dominic B. Simpson
Fiona Hutchings
Gillian Fish
Harry Sherriff
Helen Tipping
Jamie Rowland
Jeff Thiessen
John Clarkson
Jon Rogers
Lisa Torem
Maarten Schiethart
Malcolm Carter
Marie Hazelwood
Mark Rowland
Mary O'Meara
Matt Williams
Melanie Smith
Neil Bailey
Nick Dent-Robinson
Nicky Crewe
Owen Peters
Paul Waller
Richard Lewis
Sarah Johnson
Tom Fogarty
Tommy Gunnarsson
Tony Gaughan

Current Photographers
Andrew Carver
Anna Gudaniec
Katie Anderson
Matt Williams

Write for us
If you would like to contribute to the pennyblackmusic online magazine, please contact John Clarkson, the editor.

This Town Needs Guns:

Reviewed By: Paul Waller
Label: Sargent House
Format: CD

With a gap between albums of just over four years, Oxford's This Town Needs Guns, or as they are now known TTNG, truly needed to recapture people’s attention spans with this their sophomore album. The group built intricate noise from guitarist Tim Collins' playful picking style and it was perfect for injecting fresh life into the math rock genre. This can be heard on the band’s debut record 'Animals', a delicate thing of clinical beauty and lofty ideas that still today puts it American predecessors’ such as Make Believe and Owls to shame.

It’s follow up '' (named after the Mayan calendars long countdown to doomsday) is a different animal (heh-hem) all together. The technical prowess is still there as clearly heard on opener 'Cat Fantastic', 'Triptych' and 'Left Aligned', but the songs are polished to within an inch of their lives and after many listens still have this impenetrable sheen to them that just won’t let go. New singer Henry Tremain doesn’t help things either; his voice may be light and pitch perfect but it tends to wash over the song rather than add any depth to them. His vocals are as clinically precise as the guitar playing but it lacks soul whereas previous singer Stuart Smith gave it his all and leant the band an edge on older tracks such as 'Chinchila' and 'Pig'.

It’s not all shiny and bland though. The instrumental tracks are this album's life line. On 'Nice Riff', Clichard’s electronic beats and simpler guitar motif create a wonderful atmosphere; it’s the best thing on the record. Elsewhere the title track and 'Pigmy Polygamy' are well crafted and forward thinking pieces; the intricate guitar picking is as delicious as ever and here the crystal clear production is necessary as you want to hear every acute detail. So it would seem the band have come unstuck a little with ''. But when you release a debut as strong as 'Animals' was then it was obvious to all that following it would be a mighty tall order.

Track Listing

Click to add your own review of this release

View All Visitor Reviews
Go to Magazine Homepage
Go to Homepage

See Also
Catalogue Releases in Stock ()
All Current Catalogue Releases ()
All Catalogue Releases, Including Deleted Items (1)

Free Subscriptions
RSS Feed Articles
RSS Feed Reviews
drag this icon into the podcasts library in itunes to subcribe to this show Podcasts

You tube
View Pennyblackmusic writer Sarah Johnson's series of 3 videos taken at the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on 26/3/2011.

Featuring :
Nick Garrie
Hall of Mirrors
Anthony Reynolds