10 Songs, 1 Hour, 5 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

What is it about New Jersey that spawns so many bands embedded with a trace of Springsteen-ian DNA? Is it in the water? From the get-go, “A More Perfect Union” pays homage to Bruce Almighty, though the band cloaks their nod in flannel-shirted, Stink-era Replacements-inspired grit and snot. (In truth, it’s mostly vocalist Patrick Stickles’ uncanny similarity to Paul Westerberg’s gravelly yelp that conjures that band.) Titus Andronicus’ debut, The Airing of Grievances, evoked the same musical touchstones, but this time around the whiskey-soaked spirit of the Pogues also permeates, and the band feels more focused, the production is greatly improved, and it’s a loopy Civil War theme that conjures a chuckle, rather than gnarled nods to Albert Camus and uh, Jerry Seinfeld. The readings here are from Abe Lincoln and Jefferson Davis instead of Camus’ “The Stranger,” but that doesn’t mean the band’s bare-knuckled punch is any more polished or polite. If anything, The Monitor’s flammable guitars and yearning howl evoke that youthful ache for finding the meaning of life — or maybe just another beer — with palpable fervor and certain longing.

EDITORS’ NOTES

What is it about New Jersey that spawns so many bands embedded with a trace of Springsteen-ian DNA? Is it in the water? From the get-go, “A More Perfect Union” pays homage to Bruce Almighty, though the band cloaks their nod in flannel-shirted, Stink-era Replacements-inspired grit and snot. (In truth, it’s mostly vocalist Patrick Stickles’ uncanny similarity to Paul Westerberg’s gravelly yelp that conjures that band.) Titus Andronicus’ debut, The Airing of Grievances, evoked the same musical touchstones, but this time around the whiskey-soaked spirit of the Pogues also permeates, and the band feels more focused, the production is greatly improved, and it’s a loopy Civil War theme that conjures a chuckle, rather than gnarled nods to Albert Camus and uh, Jerry Seinfeld. The readings here are from Abe Lincoln and Jefferson Davis instead of Camus’ “The Stranger,” but that doesn’t mean the band’s bare-knuckled punch is any more polished or polite. If anything, The Monitor’s flammable guitars and yearning howl evoke that youthful ache for finding the meaning of life — or maybe just another beer — with palpable fervor and certain longing.

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7:09
1:55
5:16
5:06
8:53
8:38
5:01
7:00
2:24
14:01

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. ~ Margaret Reges

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