Meet TTNG: the band so technical they've got songs in 22½/8
Impressively technical Oxford band reinventing prog and making waves Stateside
As a kid, TTNG’s drummer Chris Collis listened to King Crimson and Yes, read Bill Bruford’s books, and played Tool’s Lateralus to death. “But we’re not a prog band in the traditional sense,” he says. “We don’t do huge 20-minute explorations. I’d love to be in a band like that, but I can’t play that way.”
Be that as it may, TTNG – originally formed as This Town Needs Guns 12 years ago in Oxford – offer more challenging moments in one stripped-back three-minute burst than most Yes-by-the-yard merchants can muster over an entire album.
Recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, their third long-player Disappointment Island beautifully captures their bright, busy and catchy confection, which evokes the elegant, plangent lines of Sanguine Hum, the hip approach of cult Illinois rockers American Football and Owls, and the solid song sense of XTC. Call it math rock, call it pop prog – just make sure you call it.