Boomkat Product Review:
Titus Andronicus made quite a dent on the indie-rock landscape first time around, raking in some serious affection for their first LP, The Airing Of Grievances back in 2008. Since then the New Jersey band set about working on this American Civil War-themed album, which it must be pointed out isn't one of those irritating retro folk re-enactment routines, but rather a brilliant and red-blooded rock record that lives up to both the intelligence and rowdiness of their debut. Despite the bar-room temperament that characterises so much of this band's music, they aways seem equiped with great lyrical flair and an abundance of wit that even leaks as far as the track titles (e.g. 'Theme From "Cheers"') and there's a kind of off-hand grandeur creeping into the band's music that's at times suggestive of the Arcade Fire playing through drinking songs. Alternatively you could read songs like 'Richard II' (to give it its abridged title) as using folk music in a ragged, raucous fashion that brings to mind Two Gallants, while the combo of smart lyrics and large-scale arrangements suggest an inebriated, punk-rock version of Los Campesinos. Or, to condense The Monitor's overall sound into a clunky soundbite: here Titus Andronicus sound like Springsteen in Seeger Sessions mode jamming it out with Bright Eyes and The Pogues after hours; except that on 'A More Perfect Union', singer Patrick Stickles announces "Tramps like us, baby we were born to die", rather than "run", as his more famous New Jersey neighbour might have it. Highly recommended.