Named after a real island off the coast of New Zealand, it makes sense for the lyrical direction of Disappointment Island to be a bit bleak and melancholic. It may come to no surprise that TTNG decided to take and much more to their soundscape, showcasing their impressive ability to master dynamics in their music. While riding corrosively clean instrumentals, there’s something about the way TTNG embrace their syncopation that keeps the song’s moving with such grace, powering through parts that hold their own against a symphony.
“Whenever, Whatever” is the longest offering by TTNG, and plays out like a meditative trance to the ears. After Henry Tremain riddles with the thought of endlessly sifting through existential shortcomings, “I’m nothing of note, I’m fine, most of the time, I’ll get by.” Tremain tells himself once again, “I’ll survive” before the song’s weaving patterns unwind into a warm concoction of repetitive swings. The pace transitions into a composition that grows upon every repeat, and becomes silky in texture, creating a safe place to rest and be taken away. “There’s No ‘I’ In Time” features somber tones from Tim Collis, drastically allowing for there to be a reflective mood channeled alongside Tremain’s strife.
TTNG’s style of math rock allows for the atypical drumming from Chris Collis to help songs maintain their own identity with unique beats. “A Chase Of Sorts” finds a snare drum heavy pattern to wrap around the already intricate bass/guitar part, adding a new dimension to the pull offs and organic pulse. Even when Chris Collis finds a steady rhythm to follow, the trio still find a way to make the song captivating, whether darkening the presence of the mood “Destroy The Tabernacle!” or utilizing steady swells “Coconut Crab.” Songs like “Consoling Ghosts” and “Bliss Quest” start off slow but expand into the TTNG atmosphere with dashing drums and crafty musicianship.
If Disappointment Island had a score, TTNG would fit beautifully with their graceful approach to writing music. The music doesn’t offer any distortion or barely becomes a loud presence. Instead, TTNG take their care and sorrow into intelligent orchestrations that embrace complex patterns and don’t take them too far. They let them ride out into this realm of calm and deliberate palettes, making Disappointment Island more fun to be around.