Title Fight - Shed (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Title Fight

Shed (2011)


If I were in any position to hand out a "Most Improved Band of 2011", I'd give it to Title Fight. In the past, their "hardcore goes pop-punk" sound did nothing for me, but I consider myself an open-minded guy, so I decided to give their new record a shot, and I'm glad I did. For their full-length SideOneDummy debut, Shed, the group, well, sheds most of their past sound away in favor of something slower, more fully realized, and infinitely more interesting.

The minute-and-a-half "Society" shows heavy traces of Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike, but with bigger hooks and a youthful energy, while the title track finds itself square in the middle of Polar Bear Club country. In fact, a good portion of Shed feels like it could have been the followup to Polar Bear Club's Sometimes Things Just Disappear. (Listeners disappointed with that record's actual followup take notice.) There are a few nods to their past, on tracks such as "Flood of ‘72", "You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You" and "Coxton Yard", but for the most part, Shed is something entirely different for Title Fight.

"27" is a heart-wrenching meditation on the loss of a loved one that proves the group has matured lyrically as well as musically, however, they haven't forgotten where they came from. The group's hometown of Kingston, PA finds its way into several of the songs on Shed.

SideOneDummy have been hitting it out of the park with their young signings in the last few years–from the Gaslight Anthem and Fake Problems to Broadway Calls and now Title Fight. Kudos to them for seeing something in the band that I didn't. Shed is the biggest surprise of the year so far, and an extremely pleasant one. Fans of post-hardcore will find plenty to like here.