Saturday, May 19, 2012

Artist of the Day: Titus Andronicus

At this point in modern punk rock's brief history, what's really left to be said about Patrick Stickles and his support from New Jersey's Titus Andronicus?  Surely, plenty of sharp-tongued critics have long since had their go at properly articulating just what makes the weathered Americana foursome so alarmingly appealing, but another nail in the coffin can truly do no harm.  What Titus Andronicus have unfailingly injected into each and every track of their two LP's to date is more than just bitter angst, uncouth musicianship and an aptness for significant literature of the past several centuries - it's the haunting relevance of coming up short, again and again and again, and fighting an interminable losing battle in the homeland of the not-so free; the turf of the questionably brave.  2008 offering The Airing of Grievances chugs onward and inward with battle hymns of an innocence lost, drowning beneath the sonic weight of John C. Everyman's insurmountable existential crisis.  2011-dominating The Monitor likewise plays itself headlong into the cracked dry earth, repeatedly ascending from its ashes only to gloriously burn up again, finally culminating in a 14-minute closer capable of shaking the earth between the mighty Bruce Springsteen's own feet.  Now, with plans for LP number three to be released later this year, Stickles and co. have carved out some mighty big footprints for themselves to fill.  Yet regardless of outcome or critical response, Titus Andronicus and their fans know that the fight is not up until the dog is in the dirt, a hopeful sign that the ardent song-crafting of these Jersey natives will live on until "us" and "them" become We.

Listen to Titus Andronicus, you teat-suckling pansy-ass.

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