Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances

Titus Andronicus

It’s been a while since I listened to something genuinely snarling and loud, and I’ve missed it, frankly.  I first read about Titus Andronicus on The Daily Growl and, honestly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I generally trust Tim’s recommendations I would probably not have persisted with this album, which would have been very foolish.

It starts so deceptively as well.  Fear & Loathing in Mahwah, NJ just growls and grumbles along for ages – to the point that you wonder what the fuck is going on – before exploding into life with all sorts of thunderous drumming, and gritty distortion.  It slips back into a similarly grumblesome ending: a crackling monologue which, I believe, might be from the Shakespearean tragedy from which the band take their name.  I’m not sure though, so don’t quote me on that.  That cooling off might be deceptive, but the cat’s out of the bag by this point.  This is a noisy album.

Actually, the judgment of atonal grunge and cunningly infectious melody is very well-judged on this record.  It sounds like a garage punk album, but it’s not, it’s pop.  I mean, most of the best garage punk albums worked really well as pop albums anyway, so this is no criticism.  The choruses are damned infectious, so despite the thunder of most of it, you aren’t listening to a bunch of naive ingenues here: they know how to write songs.

I’m not saying that this is my favourite album of the year.  There are a couple of songs where the tune doesn’t quite emerge from the cocoon of fuzz, but for the most part I am finding this to be bloody terrific: noisy and brilliant fun (despite the lyrical content, which is not cheerful).

Titus Andronicus – Fear & Loathing in Mahwah, NJ
[audio:http://www.matthewjamesyoung.com/sbt/TitusAndronicus-FearandLoathinginMahwahNJ.mp3]

Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus
[audio:http://www.matthewjamesyoung.com/sbt/TitusAndronicus-TitusAndronicus.mp3]

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