Album review for The Skinny:
On the first or second listen to The Airing of Grievances, the debut album by New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus, it’s easy to zone out – to come to the abrupt conclusion that they’re just another young, male band making rough, simplistic punk. But listen again and you’ll start to hear the wide range of narrative and musical paths being explored; singer Patrick Stickles’ larynx-stretching vocals are not only bearable but the album’s surging life-blood. As if to prove they’re no meat-headed noisemongers, Titus Andronicus take their name from Shakespeare’s ridiculously violent Roman tragedy, and their songs pay homage to Brueghel and Camus. But pretentiousness doesn’t figure here: they come from Springsteen country and burn with a similar passion for life in all its raw hope and blunt frustration. The Airing is a shattering breakthrough: more than mere Arcade Fire sound-a-likes, Titus Andronicus are the latest and best band to take the existentialist who-gives-a-fuck baton and run with it.
The Airing of Grievances is out now via XL.
Titus Andronicus play King Tut’s, Glasgow on 25 Feb