While it may be difficult to judge an artist and an upcoming album on one song, that’s never stopped me before and it’s certainly isn’t going to stop me from drawing conclusions on Titus Andronicus’ forthcoming album Local Business based on the lead track, “In a Big City.” For one thing, the tempo is much more reserved than what we’ve come to expect from Patrick Stickles and his frantic band of Jersey punks. Plus, now that one can decipher what he’s saying (even without the lyrics included in the stream above), it’s clear that he’s positioning himself as a punk poet, in the style of Billy Bragg, Shane McGowan, and Ted Leo. With sea-faring strings taking a more prominent role throughout this mid-tempo, stomp, one could further the argument that our boy is growing up. That’s if we wanted to draw conclusions, of course.
- July 20, 2015
Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk. Read More