Concept albums. Why? Just when you thought that particular strain of album creation was slowly but surely dying out (unless you’re Muse, in which case you can pretty much get away with anything), along comes Animals, the latest effort from This Town Needs Guns. And the “concept” is the first thing you notice, which is a bit of a shame really as this is a stunning little album, technically inventive and incredible overall, but marred by song titles like ‘Dog’ and ‘Pig’. The bravery is appreciated, but naming tracks with words that are automatically associated with fat, smelly farmyard animals does nothing to put across the overall beauty of this particular collection of songs. And understandably, if you create music in the studio with temporary titles, using the names of animals instead of ‘the blippy song’, and ‘the blippy song 2′, well, it is pretty smart and quite amusing. However, then releasing the tracks with their animal names still there just smacks of laziness, and this laziness is what makes this album not as perfect as it could have been. (more…)