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Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus: The Airing of Grievances [reissue]The Airing of Grievances [reissue] (2009)
XL Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: TorgoTorgo
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As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way." - Frank Costanza That could have very well been spoken by singer Patrick Stickles to describe Titus Andronicus: abrasive indie / punk rock drenched in self doubt, as sung on their title song, "Titus Andornicus," which more or le.
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As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."
- Frank Costanza

That could have very well been spoken by singer Patrick Stickles to describe Titus Andronicus: abrasive indie / punk rock drenched in self doubt, as sung on their title song, "Titus Andornicus," which more or less summarizes their philosophy: "Throw my guitar down on the floor / No one cares what I've got to say anymore / I didn't come here to be damned with faint praise / I'll write my masterpiece some other day / I'm repeating myself again / Innovation, I leave to smarter men / Pretty melodies don't fall out of the air for me / I've got to steal them from somewhere / it doesn't matter what you do or how hard you try."

Originally released in May of 2008 on Troubleman Unlimited Records, The Airing of Grievances was deservedly released on a bigger label, XL, January of this year. TA have the rare ability to turn on a dime anywhere from punk to shoegaze, fill their lyrics with art school student references, yet have the pretension of Negative Approach. TA's singer Patrick Stickles sounds like a young, manic Conor Oberst who, instead of spending his youth self-loathing in the corner of his dark, dark bedroom with an acoustic guitar, was stage diving at punk shows in New Jersey basements.
TA swing back and forth between concise punk anthems and longer, more musically tranquil tracks that build up and burn down. The closer "Albert Camus" does the latter effectively, but it is done best on the two-parter "No Future" and "No Future Part Two: The Day After No Future." The first part acts as a bruising, meandering mountain climb while all seven minutes of "No Future Part Two" becomes the phonetic, charging release you forgot part one needed.

However, the band is best when they stick to their shorter, more rollicking songs. "Joset of Nazareth's Blues" starts out exactly like Bruce Springsteen's "The Promised Land," harmonica and all, and the couplet "Until you hang upon such a cross, you won't know a thing about laughter or loss / From Galilee to Gethsemane to Golgotha is a short walk, a short, short walk" is decidedly Springsteen, though Bruce has never sounded this pressing or aurally lo-fi.
Few bands sound as sure as themselves on their debut as Titus Andronicus do. 45 minutes of ramshackle rock, TA don't break any new ground, nor do they try to. If anything, they're saying a big "fuck you" to bands who try to and will most likely fail, which is refreshing from a new band who can't be described with a "nu" prefix or a "core" suffix.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bigbuzzaldrin (February 12, 2009)

i saw them about a week ago and it was less than mediocre. must have just been an off-night with a bad sound guy or something.

dont have the album but love what i've heard from it.

HeresLookinAtYou (February 10, 2009)

Ok, so this is really good.

wallrock (February 9, 2009)

I saw Titus Andronicus play last Friday night. It was a great show even though I couldn't really see the band, and I ended up with a copy of this album. Very good stuff.

ChokingVictim (February 8, 2009)

yeah, this band kinda took me by surprise. didn't expect to like it but i dig it a lot...shit rules.

branden (February 8, 2009)

this is some good tunes.

colin (February 8, 2009)

the desaparecidos record is pretty great man, regardless what you think of bright eyes.

mattramone (February 8, 2009)

I was interested until I saw all the positive comparisons to Conor Oberst. Fuck that shithead and anyone who likes him.

TheMexican (February 8, 2009)

Wow, this is a humongous surprise. I'm in love with this band now.

btown (February 7, 2009)

This was a fantastic record.
I'm surprised you didn't mention either "My Time Outside the Womb" or "Upon Viewing Brugel's...", because those songs are by far the best ones on the record--at least in my opinion. I'm also surprised this wasn't mentioned on this years best lists.

Anyways, great record, and they put on a great show.

ElVaquero (February 7, 2009)

Scott Tenorman Must Die

(also this album rocks)

usversusthem (February 7, 2009)

Far and away my favourite record of 2008. I was always confused by the lack of TA news/reviews on Punknews... glad to see that's done with. I am unbelievably excited for whatever these guys do next.

xote (February 7, 2009)

This shit is fucking amazing.

colin (February 6, 2009)

this was one of my favorite records of last year. "no future" is such a great piece of malevolent self-deprecation. dude does sound like oberst, but more desaparecidos-style. rocks that fine line between indie and punk. solid release with a literate swagger.

ffwoodycock (February 6, 2009)

wow, I'm really liking what I'm hearing. thanks for the review.

dual-a-corn (February 6, 2009)

That is one fucked up play. Score is for Shakespeare.

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