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Tuesday, November 13

Vinnie the Intern #23: Titus Andronicus - Local Business

This review may be a little behind, but today I will be focusing on the new Titus Andronicus album, Local Business. Released last month, the album treads usually territory of American anthems, New Jersey, and references to Shakespearean tragedy.

On a side note, I will be reviewing Captain Murphy's highly anticipated album Duality next week! It is scheduled for release this Thursday.
Titus Andronicus - Local Business (XL Recordings)
Local Business, the follow up to their expansive sophomore album The Monitor, can be seen as their most polished yet but that does not take away from the final product. It is undeniably an album by Titus Andronicus. This time around Patrick Stickles vocals are not as guttural, arrangements are simplistic, and his lyrics seem to be some of his most personal yet, especially the eight minute epic "My Eating Disorder," presumptuously dealing with his eating disorder. In the weeks upcoming to the album, Titus Andronicus played several "Local Business" sessions around Brooklyn, I assume as an ode to the the local businesses that fuel our economy and the hard working, individuals that create a back bone of our society.

The economically driven first single, "In A Big City," one of my favorites on the album, deals with the feeling of being seen as a mechanism of creation rather than a human being. "It's easy turning me on, I'm merely a robot" Stickles proclaims at the climax of the song. As I stated in a track review awhile back, it seems the vocal clarity is endemic to the anthemic vibe. These lyrics were meant to be repeated loud and proud.

Many songs here tend to blend, possibly due to their similar structure, but one thing that stands out above all are the stories crafted by Patrick Stickles. In "Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape with the Flood of Detritus" he paints a picture of an accident on a highway which delves into the human condition where motorists do not care about the misfortunes of the deceased due to focusing on their own busy schedules. The triumph chorus and "built to last" is repeated ad nauseam, just as the phrase is in our own society. Yet the lead up to it states "because dreams can't be, nor people, indeed" making "built to last" feel as an affirmative to being overall powerless. This theme is grazed in the opener "Ecce Homo" which opens the album with the nihilistic tone of  "Okay, I think by now we've established everything is inherently worthless."

I can see Local Business bridging the gap for would be fans who were turned off by the grit that was present in their first two albums. While it is not my favorite in their discography, it is still very worth checking out.

My favorites on the album: 
"Ecce Homo," "Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape with the Flood of Detritus," "Food Fight!/My Eating Disorder," and "In A Big City."

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