Titus Andronicus - Local Business
Record Label: XL Recordings
Release Date: October 23, 2012
‘Okay, I think by now we’ve established that everything is inherently useless’.
Titus Andronicus is a punk rock band. They embody everything that punk rock is and should be. From their ramshackle delivery to their working class hero ethos, Titus Andronicus are one of the most relevant punk bands in the world today. Their third album, Local Business is a punk ‘n’ roll roller-coaster complete with rabble rousing choruses, rough vocals and deeply personal vocals to boot.
Titus Andronicus have had a hard time of it and Local Business never stops letting us know it. Kicked off by the Bruce Springsteen meets Ramshackle Glory-esqueness of "Ecce Homo", the track is basically what happens when you disguise negative emotions under the guise of punchy, bouncy punk rock. With the afore-quoted lyric and it’s lyrical peers within the album, Titus Andronicus quickly identify themselves as highly skilled downbeat poets. Throughout the record, the lyrics are some of the best of the year. Whether it’s the brutally honest lyrics of "My Eating Disorder" which deal with singer, Stickles, battle with his eating disorder or the somewhat wide-eyed words of "In A Big City", they take it all with a gritty realism and sense of humour which not only makes the album more accessible but also renders the record all the more likable for its wit.
Aside from lyrical performance in the record, Titus Andronicus certainly know how to write a catchy, bouncy punk rock song. Putting aside how bloody depressing the lyrics can be at times, the release is actually a lot of fun. The aforementioned opener is a bounce-along anthem complete with guitar solo and the odd burst of ‘whoa’. “Food Fight!” also fits into this section. With it’s entire lack of lyrics, apart from the occasional gang exclamation of “Food Fight!”, it’s a minute of complete and utter fun. “My Eating Disorder” is a highlight of the record with the line “I know the world’s a scary place/ that’s why I hide behind a hairy face” being one of my favourite lyrics of the year so far. It’s the juxtaposition of such serious lyrical themes with upbeat, catchy musical backgrounds that make Titus Andronicus the great band that they are and Local Business the excellent album that it is.
Closer, “Tried To Quit Smoking” is the opus of the album with its ten minute drunken stomp. Sounding somewhat like “My Way” for someone who’s spent too long touring punk venues, it’s a superbly unepic epic and is the perfect close out to the record. Overall, Local Business is the sound of a band who don’t take themselves too seriously, whilst being serious. They successfully marry what’s great in the worlds of punk rock and indie rock and present it to us in a fun, memorable way. The only time the record comes across as flawed is the manner in which certain tracks happen to run into each other, however largely, this is easy to ignore when the rest of the record is so great. Local Business is certainly the business.
"My Eating Disorder" is probably my favorite song of theirs (for a lot of reasons) but overall The Monitor is still their strongest album. Not at all disappointed with this one though and they're easily one of the best in NJ right now
I miss it here, too. I feel like I only visit the site when I'm riding the bus home from work. Need to make more time to get back in action here.
Yeah man you were one of the first staff members I started paying attention to when I first started lurking here...well almost five years ago, shit. And I first heard about Gaslight because of your 59 Sound review sooo...I'd consider myself a fan of your work haha. Would love to see you around here more!