10 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Local Business’s opening lyrics are: “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.” It’s grim to read, but when performed it sounds like life-affirming rock 'n' roll meant to crush such existential dread. Patrick Stickles has a lot to say, and he’s not afraid to bare his own insecurities and personal frustrations while he’s at it. Eating disorders, consumerism, nihilism, and the absurdities of human nature are explored from various angles. Yet Stickles can pull it off and make his point of view thought-provoking, relatable, and even funny due to his odd mix of hopelessness and lust for life. Local Business, Titus Andronicus' third full-length, isn't a concept album like the Civil War–themed The Monitor, but it's ambitious in its own right. Rather than featuring a large group of revolving musicians as before, here the band is stripped down to five members: three ragged, crunching guitars and a steady drum-and-bass rhythm section. The sound is tightened up and tough, with fist-pumping choruses and sharp tempo breaks. This is workingman’s punk delivered with a jolt.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Local Business’s opening lyrics are: “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.” It’s grim to read, but when performed it sounds like life-affirming rock 'n' roll meant to crush such existential dread. Patrick Stickles has a lot to say, and he’s not afraid to bare his own insecurities and personal frustrations while he’s at it. Eating disorders, consumerism, nihilism, and the absurdities of human nature are explored from various angles. Yet Stickles can pull it off and make his point of view thought-provoking, relatable, and even funny due to his odd mix of hopelessness and lust for life. Local Business, Titus Andronicus' third full-length, isn't a concept album like the Civil War–themed The Monitor, but it's ambitious in its own right. Rather than featuring a large group of revolving musicians as before, here the band is stripped down to five members: three ragged, crunching guitars and a steady drum-and-bass rhythm section. The sound is tightened up and tough, with fist-pumping choruses and sharp tempo breaks. This is workingman’s punk delivered with a jolt.

TITLE TIME
5:11
5:30
3:27
1:09
8:12
2:09
3:35
6:11
4:14
9:44

About Titus Andronicus

A punk-inflected indie rock group whose bawling, thrashing sound reflected a wide range of influences ranging from the Pixies to Bright Eyes to Bruce Springsteen, Glen Rock, New Jersey's Titus Andronicus formed in 2005 with bandleader and songwriter Patrick Stickles supported by Liam Betson, Ian Graetzer, Eric Harm, and Dan Tews. The band's debut full-length, The Airing of Grievances (which makes reference to a Seinfeld episode), was first released by Troubleman Unlimited in 2008, then picked up for wider distribution by XL Recordings in January 2009. For the band's impressive 2010 follow-up, The Monitor, Titus Andronicus beefed up the production value and enlisted the help of musicians from ten other indie acts, including members of the Hold Steady, Vivian Girls, and Ponytail. Two years later they returned with their third effort, Local Business, a more personal album that found the band looking inward for inspiration. In 2015, after a number of personnel changes (Stickles was joined by the core band of guitarists Adam Reich and Jonah Maurer, bassist Julian Veronesi, and drummer Eric Harm, along with a number of guest vocalists and instrumentalists), Titus Andronicus moved to the noted independent label Merge Records, who released their fourth album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, an ambitious rock opera in five acts inspired by Stickles' own bouts with manic depression. Stickles took Titus Andronicus in a very different creative direction with 2018's A Productive Cough, which eschewed punk rock in favor of a more casual, intimate sound fashioned with a large group of musicians rather than the band's core members. ~ Margaret Reges

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