April 24, 2008

Test Spin: Titus Andronicus

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Titus Andronicus has enjoyed an especially prosperous run since opening for Matt and Kim in Risley last October. In addition to touring across the eastern seaboard in January, the Glen Rock, N.J. five-piece recorded their full-length debut LP, The Airing of Grievances, at the famously water-damaged Marcata Recording studio in colonial New Paltz.
The album is a fast-paced nine-track ordeal fueled as much by breakneck electric instrumentation as it is by enigmatic frontman “Angry” Patrick Stickles’ growling vocals. Lyrically, Stickles’ songwriting efforts combine the honesty and ambition of ancient indie-pop acts with a distinctly hardcore bent (owning to the band’s roots in North Jersey’s infamous “Money Scene”).
As Stickles, lead of the band whom Pitchfork once called “a completely ramshackle crew of Jersey drunks,” continues to rise, so will recognition for his sublime lyricism and lightning-quick raise-the-dead-then-change-your-mind-and-rekill-them musicianship. He will undoubtedly be remembered as the closest thing to Al Jolson this generation will ever produce.