Titus Andronicus has always been a band that gets straight to the point. With albums that range in size and run times, they’ve also never really been ones to stick to one path other than being punk. On their latest release An Obelisk, they tear down the divide between blue and red states to attempt to unite us all, one energetically fueled riff and verse at a time.
The vigor in these tracks is immediate, yet there’s more melody than you may be expecting. In many ways, this is traditional punk at its finest. No bullshit subgenres, just straight melodic punk with very little else. Sure, the opening track “Just Like Ringing a Bell,” but it doesn’t make the song less of a punk track being played by punks. With the gain turned up and the drums popping in the background, the vocals sit at the top of the mix where the message comes across loud and clear-this is unpretentious punk. “Troubleman Unlimited” keeps the fires burning strong while “My Body and Me” slows things down a bit without steering too far off of the path.
But with all of that, the album still has plenty of anthem fueled moments and plenty of throttled ardor. “(I BLAME) Society” should have you pumping your fists as you sing along, “Beneath the Boot” has plenty of old school punk nods without lifting anything and “On the Street” will definitely cause you blood to course through your veins. “The Lion Inside” is a large standout away from all of the energy. While all of the songs are snappy and have moments of catchy hooks baked in, the song stands out because it takes all that each track contains and gives your ears plenty to work with. Backing vocals, punk energy and guitar squealed hooks blend perfectly with the raspy vocals, making the song stand on its own. Without following any path besides their own, Titus Andronicus delivers pure punk plain and simple. Sometimes that’s all you need, and An Obelisk should be enough for anyone who isn’t looking for something besides the music.
An Obelisk is available to stream on all platforms and it can be purchased through all digital outlets, or physically directly from Merge Records. Titus Andronicus is on tour tonight at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, NY until November 23 at Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY. A complete listing of their tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Ray Concepcion.