Titus Andronicus

photo by Ray Concepcion

An Obelisk is the sixth album by Titus Andronicus. Fronted by Patrick Stickles, a man who is constantly in search of the perfect piece of art. I know most musicians and writers suffer from this but Stickles strikes me as the type who is a bit of a mad scientist; at times overthinking things. This is based on nothing but interviews, which is why this article in Vice where he ranked the prior 5 albums was simply brilliant. The conversation between him and Dan Ozzi is well worth your time.

On An Obelisk, Stickles seems to have realized whatever vision he had for this album. How do I know? I don’t. More of a gut feeling but sometimes you can watch an artist or band and say, “yep, that’s it. That’s what they were trying to do on that album or on that tour. By George, they’ve done it here.” The band or other fans might feel different but we all connect to music in a different manner. Hell, that’s what makes it so fun.

An Obelisk strips away most of the excess from 2018’s A Productive Cough (an album that I’ve grown to really love). Mostly gone or greatly reduced are the horns, strings and loads of backup vocals for as uncomplicated an album that I can remember Stickles making. The overriding theme I take from this album is that like most people, Stickles is angry and confused by what’s going on in the world. Does he have all the solutions? Nope, but sometimes it feels good to share your frustrations with someone. From I Blame Society to Hey Ma to Tumult Around The World, Stickles tries to navigate his way, sometimes wondering how if he’s complicit in any of the issues that piss him off in some self-reflection.

This is a great punk rock album that you should most certainly spend some time with. I’d also suggest spending some time reading any interview you can find with Stickles. He’s one of the most honest and forthcoming people in music.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Titus Andronicus is here

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photo by Ray Concepcion

Titus Andronicus have announced their forthcoming album for Merge. An Obelisk will see the light of day on June 21 and they brought in some heavy hitters. Here’s some info from Merge.

An Obelisk is the sixth album from Titus Andronicus, which finds the noted rock band under the stewardship of producer and legendary rocker Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar, et al.). This trans-generational meeting of the minds has yielded the most immediate, intense, and unadorned Titus Andronicus record to date. Clocking in at a brisk 38 minutes and change, it is also the shortest. Recorded over six breathless days at Steve Albini’s world-renowned Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, An Obelisk presents the sound of Titus Andronicus, rock band, at its most irreducible, as monolithic as the album’s titular monument.

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Titus Andronicus is here

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Klein

For those not in the know, Amy Klein was a member of Titus Andronicus back in day. She left the band back in 2011 to work on her other projects and now she’s all set to release her debut solo LP. The album will be titled Fire and will be released via the fine folks at Don Giovanni Records.

I was bummed when she left Titus and while her music is more melodic on this go-round. One listen to her lyrics and you can tell that Amy still has the fire in her belly. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Amy Klein is here

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poltergiest_zpsiyeoerg7

There was a great article on NPR regarding the challenges of digesting super-sized albums. As a father of 3 with a full-time job, 80 minute albums provide quite the challenge as it is tough to find the time during car pools and phone calls. The big 80 minute album in my life now is The Most Lamentable Tragedy, which is referenced in the article.

I have been listening to TMLT in fits over the last month on a variety of listening devices. Five songs here. Eight songs there. Listening to such a personal piece of music makes it very difficult to form any reasonable conclusion on the album. I’ve had only two opportunities to listen in full twice. And truth be told, only one of them was I able to crank it up on quality speakers.

For those not familiar with Titus, they are a Jersey punk band. The man behind Titus is Patrick Stickles, an opinionated gentleman that has suffered from manic depression and battles with a selective eating disorder. His interviews are always an interesting read and his twitter feed is not for the faint of the heart. Stickles is an well-read intelligent man who is deeply convicted to his principles and beliefs.

TMLT is a massive sprawling, brilliant, messy masterpiece. The story of the protagonist is one of despair, redemption and one that returns to despair. It is a five piece rock opera that sounded ridiculous when I first heard the idea, but one that Stickles has made work. I’d be lying if I said I can break down this album in any sort of intelligent manner as it isn’t a story that is easy to follow along. Its more of a feel album with moments that will make you blow you out of the water.

For now, TMLT is a great collection of songs with some major highlights on it. Over time I plan on growing into this album and delving into the story where I can fully comprehend it. Really long-term, I hope this album means as much to my kids as Quadrophenia means to me.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Titus Andronicus is here

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Titus Andronicus – Local Business [album review]

October 29, 2012

What the hell do you do to follow up an epic concept album like The Monitor? Luckily for us, Titus Andronicus didn’t try and “out-Monitor” The Monitor. Gone are the Civil War themes, multiple guest appearance and voice-overs. Still with us is the New Jersey punk band’s propensity for writing amazing tunes and a refusal […]

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Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union [New Video]

April 9, 2010

Titus Andronicus surprised us with their incredible punk Civil War concept album entitled The Monitor. The band recently released a video for their first single, “A More Perfect Union.” Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union Video: Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union Titus Andronicus | MySpace Music Videos Tweet

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Titus Andronicus – The Monitor [Album Review, SxSW 2010]

March 11, 2010

I’ve had the pleasure of owning Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor for a month now and it is has slowly worked its way into my subconscious like a slow, smoldering fire building into an out of control blaze. The comparisons to Bruce are easy enough since both are both from Jersey, but I would throw equal […]

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