90FM Album Review: Titus Andronicus-Local Business

Kyle Florence kflor654@uwsp.edu



Since forming in Glen Rock, New Jersey in 2005, Titus Andronicus has hit the ground running, releasing two critically acclaimed albums that have left notable sources such as Pitchfork Magazine referring to their sound as “violent, overblown and irreverent.”

With the release of their third full-length “Local Business”, the quintet returns to the limelight having clearly perfected the raw indie-punk sound which made them famous. Throughout the album, grungy, beach-ready guitar riffs are complemented by lead vocalist Patrick Stickles wordy, often deeply introspective lyrics. “Ecce Homo”, the album opener, is immediately shoved down listeners throats, propelled forward by chunky lead guitar and a relentlessly catchy melody. Similarly, the third track, “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus”, follows a similar route, and very vividly describes a car crash on a pacific-northwest interstate. Along with this, “Still Life With Hot Deuce on Silver Platter” seems to be packed with enough energy to rival a daycare built into a candy factory.

Still, with each new album bands are expected to grow in some way, shape, or form, and with the release of “Local Business”, Titus Andronicus’ maturation becomes apparent. Very early on it is made clear that the group has remained true to their craft, yet as the album progresses listeners will note that the they have also vied for a more grandiose approach. For example, the latter half of “In a Small Body” flows effortlessly from a wispy guitar line to a lofty violin arrangement, before rejoining with Stickles wails. Additionally, several others songs also occasionally drift into very spacey, almost prog-rock territory, with multiple tracks hovering well beyond the three minute mark.

Aside from structure, it would also seem that the topic Matter of “Local Business” is considerably more grown-up, which is evident in tracks such as “My Eating Disorder”, where Stickles bravely addresses his own long time issues with selective eating. Likewise, in the reflective “In a Big City”, which also serves as the album’s first single, we find him detailing a flight from New Jersey to New York where he is “a drop in a deluge of hipsters.”

Ultimately, Titus Andronicus has done what fans of the genre have come to expect–create an album that is upbeat, fast, and far reaching.

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