Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
They've been showing a lot of stock footage lately of how quickly dry Christmas trees can be sparked and then bloom into a wildfire that has engulfed any entire house. These are the warnings all us dumb people are berated with by nervous fire marshals this season, knowing that they'll be called to some house where some bad wiring and a rash of neglect turned a family home into ash while everyone was trying to sleep off the eggnog.
Something in the songs of the Bristol band Towns makes a guy feel like he's plugged into one of those dubious and suspect wall sockets, with far too many other cords, a fire hazard if ever there was one. It makes you feel like all of that hot blood that's flowing through you is going to cause something bad to happen when you least expect it. One tiny fray or a spark could be just the thing that shoots into a cluster of pine needles and everything just goes up in flames.
Lead singer James MacLucas sings in a hushed, down pillow kind of a whisper, as if he's trying to keep it down in a house full of these sleeping people. He sounds like a prowler, probably up to no good, but also doing what he's got to do because he's walking around like his head's been cut off, like everyone else, and also because he's so desperate to keep on that he'll do whatever it takes to do that.
MacLucas, guitarist John Paul Beaumont, bassist Adam Hastings and drummer Miles Hastings give off this sensation of there being some drowsy menace out there in the moonlit night, seeping out to walk the streets as the hours stretch on into the early mornings hours. They're trying to slip in, under the cover of night and they might claim a house, or they might turn over some garbage cans in the back alley. They might just listen to records and drink too many beers, working on something closer to personal happiness, but it sounds like there just might be too much to dwell on to achieve that to any real degree.