By Anthony Lopez |Staff Writer|
In Titus Andronicus’ third album, Local Business, the indie punk rock band from New Jersey finds themselves trying something different from their past albums: going mainstream.
The band, formed in 2005, consists of Eric Harm on drums, Ian Gratezer slapping the bass and Patrick Stickles on guitar and vocals.
They have left the standard styles of a heavy punk feel from their previous album and traded it for one filled with harmonious punk rock tunes.
Although shocking, the change is quite an improvement for the band. NPR music described their debut album, The Airing of Grievances, as “[sounding] like yet another better-than-average punk band venting about its post-adolescent woes.”
For those who are unfamiliar with the band, their style of music is similar to that of Ben Folds Five and Neutral Milk Hotel. Relating in their use of piano and playful nature however excluding an overtly whiny sound.
This time around Titus Andronicus (a name that comes from a Shakespearean tragedy) have gone for a more melodic collection of tunes.
This album shows the continued growth of the band since their second album, The Monitor, which ranked as one of the best albums of 2010 due to their rousing choruses and fun lyrics, according to Spinners.com
Local Business demonstrates how the band is growing and experimenting along the way with different genres of music to create something that is wholly Titus Andronicus.
This album is reminiscent of the catchy punk style found in Sonic Youth’s hit album, Daydream Nation, with its head bobbing melodies and their willingness to step out of their boundaries, resulting in a success for the band.
According to the band’s website, the band has gone as far as saying, “While the first two albums were elaborate concoctions, Local Business is of the earth.”
Although the album might not completely satisfy their fan base, their new style will attract outside interest and expand their fan base.
A minor complaint from the mainstream audience might be that the lyrics are not always easily audible but that would be missing the concept of the album. It is evident that the collection was meant to be fun and carefree.
In “Food Fight,” the band proves that in punk the lyrics are not supposed to be Shakespearean, screaming out “Food Fight!” a total of six times, while Stickles rocks out on the guitar complemented by a harmonica. The song feels like a rock song should: guiltless and fun.
On their second track, “Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter,” the band’s growth is clear. They start with a heavy emphasis on the guitar and drums, but it evolves into a catchy punk song about growing up, changing again into an emotional growling.
Overall, this gamble is a winner for the band. It is a catchy punk album that can be easily listened to by any audience.
The songs are fun, strong and catchy. Local Business is definitely worth the sticker price and with a U.S. national tour on the way, Titus Andronicus is worth a ticket stub.