by Remfry Dedman
photo by Nick Sayers
The long-awaited third LP from TTNG (FKA This Town Needs Guns) is finally released on 8th July via Sargent House, and The Independent are exclusively streaming it three days before official release. Disappointment Island is the first album to feature the band as a trio after former bassist Jamie Cooper left in 2011 and was written in two sessions two years apart. One session took place at the beginning of 2013 and the other in 2015, with the band entering the studio to record later that year. Disappointment Island was recorded live to tape over 10 days at Chicago’s pre-eminent Electrical Audio studios by Greg Norman (Mclusky, Russian Circles, Pelican) and mastered by Shellac’s Bob Weston and, unbelievably, is named after a real uninhabited island off the south coast of New Zealand. Employing barely any distortion or guitar effects, the supremely intricate technical playing of guitarist Tim Collis makes for a beautifully wistful yet mathematically elaborate bedrock for bassist / vocalist Henry Tremain’s mellifluous tones and drummer Chris Collis’s atypical drumming patterns.
The artwork was created by Ukrainian artist and illustrator Irena Zablotska. ‘She’s a great artist’ says Chris. ‘We came across her artwork quite randomly one day. We always wanted to use it as the album cover, even before we had the title for the album. In fact, we had joked about Disappointment Island for quite a long time after we saw it on a map. When we were discussing possible titles, Tim remembered Disappointment Island, and at first we said ‘there’s no way we could call it that!’ But the more we let the idea sit, the more we liked it. It seemed to bring everything together really well - encapsulating the artwork, the lyrical content, and our struggles and stresses getting the album written and recorded. Recording live to tape was very pressured - trying to get all three of us playing perfectly all the way through was quite a challenge! In the end I am very proud of what we achieved and this album would not have happened without the great encouragement and support of our loved ones.’