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Titus Andronicus:

Local Business review

By Kyle Grim
On November 21, 2012

Titus Andronicus, a punk rock band from New Jersey, returns with its third album, Local Business. The band takes the large, grandiose sound of Arcade Fire and
combines it with the violence of The Clash, with just a hint of
Bruce Springsteen's heartland rock. Titus Andronicus is well-known for its nihilistic viewpoint, which is immediately evident in the album opener "Ecce Homo." Lead vocalist and lyricist Patrick Stickles sneers through the first lines, "Okay I think by now we've established/ That everything is inherently worthless/ And there's nothing in the Universe/ With any kind of objective purpose." Self-loathing is another common theme, with the same song having lyrics such as "I heard about my authentic self/ What would I say if I ever meet him?/ I guess 'you're guilty of a terrible crime'/
And I know it was my birth." Stickles' trademark sneer, which sounds a lot like Joe Strummer of The Clash, propels the songs along at their (usually) brisk pace. You can hear both the expression and the pure release of pain in his voice throughout the songs. While it seems as if Titus
Andronicus is all doom and gloom, they do manage to have some fun. The brief song "Food Fight" is a fast and furious rock song containing no other lyrics than those found in the title. While short, it is a fun distraction and almost serves as relief from the dark subject matter of the album. Musically, the album is filled with fast, punk tunes with hints of heartland rock. The choruses are big, and unlike other punk albums, there's a wide variety of instruments used, including piano, strings, brass and others. The album closer, "Tried to Quit Smoking," starts out as a mournful slow jam, but midway through, it turns into a blues jam, complete with harmonica. Local Business is easily one of the top five best albums released this year. Anybody who enjoys punk rock should definitely give it a listen. While the dark subject matter may make it difficult to approach, those who do will be greatly rewarded.


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