Shed finds Title Fight sticking to their sound, featuring fast paced, short, and emotional songs. Though it is indisputable that Title Fight sports a hardcore influence, the songs are less aggressive than they are moody. Despite the pounding of the drums and the grit of the vocals, vocalist Ned Russin spends more time brooding than he does being destructive. The lyrics are more introspective than they are a plea for attention. As Russin cries, “I don’t see anybody else, and I don’t need anybody else,” the music feels more like a journal than a song. Title Fight wins you over through their relatable quality, not through interesting orchestration or flashy drumming.
However, Title Fight’s greatest strength is inevitably their greatest weakness. Everything about their presentation, from the brief song length to the simple chord progressions, is intentionally so in an effort to emphasize the emotion in the music. As a work of art, their delivery is effective, accomplishing exactly what they set out to do, and there is maturity in their less is more attitude. However, appreciating the music is a tolling emotional task, often leaving me in a sour mood as the closer finishes. This is in part due to the hopeless, grating vibe of the album, and in part due to the one dimensionality of the sound. It is possible to sit through the entire album, giving it only half of your attention, and not even notice that the first song ended. Hooks are rare, riffs are simple, and the vocals are relatively static throughout the album. And I feel that I must clarify that I am not bashing the album, this effect is exactly what Title Fight set out hoping to accomplish. These characteristics are intentional and define Title Fight’s sound.
Old fans will certainly find much to appreciate in Shed, and the cohesiveness of the album has established Title Fight as a group with staying power. Though I only find appeal in Shed when I am feeling particularly glum, Title Fight has done a fantastic job in perfecting their sound, delivering their thoughts in a manner that is almost too effective.
01. Coxton Yard
03. Flood of '72
05. You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You
06. Crescent-Shaped Depression
07. Safe in Your Skin
08. Where Am I?
09. Your Screen Door
12. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)