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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Titus Andronicus:The Monitor(2010)


I totally missed out on Titus Andronicus the first time around, when they released their first record, The Airing Of Grievances. I still have not yet heard that record, so I cannot comment on how much the band has or has not matured from that record to the record we are now discussing. All I can really say is that this record kicks ASS!! It recaptures an era of nostalgia that hasn't been tapped by the deluge of retro indie-rock bands now flooding the CD bins(or I-Tunes, if you prefer). TA have elements of many other bands in their sound, but sound like NO one! The vocals are almost a dead ringer for Connor Oberst of Bright Eyes, in his earlier days, and this to me is a good thing. He is one of the few that you could actually hear the angst of his age shining through his vocals, and TA singer Ian Graetzer embodies the same qualities. The music in my opinion is similar to prime-era Pixies, and maybe The Hold Steady without the annoying keyboards. The Monitor is a concept record about The Civil War, and although I have yet to wrap my head around the theme or storyline, that does nothing to hamper my enjoyment of this amazing record. If Bruce Springsteen grew up in 80's/90's indie rock scene, I bet he would write a record like this. Every song is a keeper, and some of them will stick in your head for days. The bands titular song "Titus Andronicus" just repeats the phrase "the enemy is everywhere" for it's 1:49 duration, and it will stick in your brain, and you will sing it endlessly. The closing track is called "The Battle Of Hampton Road, and it's 14 minutes long, and you will relish every second. That is not an easy feat to make a song that long interesting from start to finish, but these boys(and girl) do it. I could tell you all sorts of neat moments in each song, but it would be wiser of you, just to buy the CD.....remember, I told ya so!

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