Titus Andronicus | The Airing of Grievances
Most Likely To: pump your fist and drink more than you ought to.
Titus Andronicus’ self-titled second full-length really begins about a minute into the first song, with a hardy “FUCK / YOU” from what sounds like the entire band, and maybe a roadie or two. It is then that the brash and blaring nature of Titus Andronicus – aptly named after Shakespeare’s grisly first play – becomes fully apparent. And when the song peaks with a Van Halen-esque, fingertapping guitar solo, anything seems possible. What a place to find oneself one song into a record, asking, “What’s going to happen next?”
Titus Andronicus sounds like an angrier Conor Oberst fronting an assemblage of bands, from Ted Leo’s Pharmacists to 1970s garage-punks, The Penetrators. There’s an essential grittiness to the recording that sets them apart from other bands with diverse instrumentation like The Arcade Fire, and endears them to the heart of anyone that would like to see a hairier set of balls hanging from contemporary indie rock. (Let’s face it: lately, we’ve shaving, if not waxing.)
The vocals are always shouted, sometimes by a gang, and are barely melodic. The drums are always pounded, and the guitars sound like they must have finger blood on their necks. This is the album that will remind you what it was like to be a teenager, make a fist as hard as you can, and punch yourself in the stomach to try to make sense of physical sensation.
Titus Andronicus will appeal to honesty-or-bust fans of Saves the Day and The Get-Up Kids for hollering and shredding their way through songs with titles like “My Time Outside the Womb” and “Arms Against Atrophy.” Anyone who’s completed half a degree in either philosophy, English, or art history will appreciate references to Camus, H.S. Thompson and Brueghel in other titles. And, Titus Andronicus happen to be the first band I’ve come across with a title-track song on a self-titled album: “Titus Andronicus,” from Titus Andronicus by Titus Andronicus. You clever little fucks.
These are great songs to drink and shout to, drive to your girlfriend’s house to, cheat on your boyfriend to, or contemplate death to… or while doing all simultaneously.
Listen to “Titus Andronicus” from Titus Andronicus: