Your Town Needs Them

Rock music has always employed the use of the concept album. From the rock opera of The Who’s Tommy and prog masterpiece that is Pink Floyd’s, The Wall back in the seventies, right through till now; as a take on music, it is a highly lucrative one. In recent years, it seems that no matter the genre, more bands are getting in on the concept bandwagon. From Coheed and Cambria’s epic yet confusing, The Amory Wars series which unfolds with each album; to The Mars Volta’s mind melting journey through the mind of a man comatose after a suicide attempt (Deloused in the Comatorium), and even to Coldplay’s most recent effort, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, which muses about death, albeit, in a bit of a whiny way. Now, Oxford based, This Town Needs Guns bring us their take on the concept album.

Probably not inspired by a trip to the zoo or BBC’s cutesy animal documentary series, Animal Park, 'Animals' is a delightful take on thematic album genre. Not suffering from the previous trappings of other bands who take this path: the song names are not necessarily reflective of lyric content nor musical stylings but are merely arbitrary names which tie the whole album together, into the caged little beast that it is.

'Animals' is an album which is predominantly complex: from the mind boggling, start-stop time signatures, to the overt emotion showed in the lyrics, this is not a throw away pop record by any means. With an underlying air of the Chicago indie music scene and all punctured with echoes of Atlases and Joan of Arc and teamed with Stuart Smith’s vocals which occasionally descend into Jonah Matranga and Tim Kinsella territory, this is a real audio treat.

In regards to standout tracks: 'Panda' does not disappoint with its subtle urgency, the gentle yet lush ebb and flow of the instrumental 'Elk' and the soft hushed lullaby that is 'Crocodile' all impress with their varied take on the math(s) core genre.

Another stellar release from Big Scary Monsters bountiful chest of talent; This Town Needs Guns will go far.