March 20, 2012

Song Review: Titus Andronicus' "Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape with the Flood of Detritus"

Titus Andronicus' 2010 sophomore effort The Monitor was an epically-sculpted punk rock concept album identified by Civil War-era theatrics and soaring sing-a-longs. Maybe it's this lasting impression which makes hearing anything else from the Jersey-based band instantaneously surprising. Add to this, TA has more often than not been Patrick Stickles, a few other constants and -- as the recent departure of guitarist Amy Klein and their Wikipedia entry suggests -- a revolving cast of "whoever else is in the room" characters whose dynamic constantly evolves the project's direction. Titus Andronicus tests this theory in the ostentatiously-named single "Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape With the Flood of Detritus," a new track that's set to be released as part of an upcoming split 7" alongside Nashville garage rockers Diarrhea Planet. Unlike The Monitor and even the band's 2008 debut The Airing of Grievances, the track is unscathed by textured guitars and ornamental grandiosity, opting instead for a hootenanny fitting for a bar brawl. An added layer of backing vocals by So So Glos member and Titus pal Alex Levine also puts Stickle's hoarse musings into a jubilantly different light, while the inclusion of a few choice punk "Oi!"s toward "Upon Viewing..."'s closing moments has you appreciating the way Titus Andronicus is loosening their grip on tightly-wound concepts. Whether or not this direction is any indication of where Stickles is leading listeners on the band's third LP is anyone's guess, but as far as surprises go, he and Titus Andronicus have an easy time delivering one here.

Titus Andronicus - "Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus"

2 comments:

  1. Fred Hampton (Jr.)March 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    I liked it.
    Is it just me or does it sound like Stickles is hitting more notes than ever before? Same I-don't-give-a-fuck energy, but more in the right key?
    ...it's probably just me.

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  2. Definitely less shouting / snarl to Mr. Stickle's vocals with a bit more attention to his range!

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