When everything is back to normal, if that is even possible, I’d like to go to Orlando. This has nothing to do with getting some sun, eating oranges and going to Disney. Oh no. Over the past decade or so, Orlando has grown a mouth watering experimental scene. Pre-pandemic it felt like my new favourite bands were emerging on a weekly basis. One such band is TTN. Their 2019 album Indoctrination was a blast of art rock with noisy tendencies. It was about as much fun as that previous sentence makes out. Now they are returned with a new, self-titled, album.
Comprising of seven Roman numeralled titled tracks TTN gets off to a blistering start. ‘I’ just rages from the start and doesn’t let up for its 127-second duration. Apart from the final track all of the songs are under three minutes. This gives the album a slight punky vibe. The songs don’t outstay their welcome. They do their thing and stop. Then the next one starts up. Stays around until the band get their themes across. It’s admirable. In the past TTN have released longer songs. Their 2021 collaboration with Trotsky’s Watercooler lasted just over half an hour and consisted of two songs.
The main problem with TTN is that noise, distortion and feedback is overpowering the songs, rather than enhancing them. I love listening to harsh noise and power electronics. That stuff is really fun, but the artists I really like know when to tone it down to get those exquisite textures. TTN don’t seem able to get the balance right. This might be because some of the songs aren’t as strong as on previous TTN releases, and this wall of noise and confusion prevents us from hearing how much weaker the songs actually are. That said there are some songs that totally slap. ‘IV’ for example. There is a catchy riff and the industrial motifs work well giving the band more clout than they’ve previously had. This feeling is fleeting as when ‘V’ kicks in it sounds like a band happy to emulate their musical heroes, rather than trying to push things forward. There is nothing wrong, per se, with ‘V’ but after the visceral punch of ‘IV’ it all feels a bit flat. After TTN finishes, I press play again. And then again. With each new listen I find more things to like, but also more things I don’t. The main problem is that the songs don’t feel as fully formed as their previous releases. They feel rushed and, at times, cliché.