LivingEars Limelight: Titus Andronicus

This will run in the 3/11 edition of In This Week.

The best new song I heard this week is “A More Perfect Union” by Titus Andronicus.

“If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”

Titus Andronicus open their 2nd album, The Monitor, with a quote from Lincoln, however the true definition of the bands ethos is made clear at the end of the track in the form of a quote from abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison:

“I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”

Over the course of 7 minutes and 10 seconds the band does their best to channel a more angry and literary version of New Jersey’s greatest export; Bruce Springsteen. Rest assured… this is not your dad’s music. The band is loud and sloppy and pissed as hell. This is a fight song for the ages at once uplifting and inspiring.

Though the album has a loose Civil War themed narrative singer Patrick Stickles has explained The Monitor is more about an internal war for happiness. Happiness he believes you have to fight for and requires staying true to your own moral compass to achieve. As Stickles mentions over and over again throughout the album, “the enemy is everywhere,” and only you can create your own happiness by overcoming those who will try and keep you down.

Mixes well with » Desaparecidos, The Hold Steady, Bruce Springsteen

      Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union

Scott Curtis is a music blogger (livingears.com), a broadcaster (listen to LivingEars Radio every Saturday 9-10:30 p.m. on UtahFM.org) and a fan of the good things in life.

Buy The Monitor on CD or Vinyl from Amazon.

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

The Monitor is out March 9 on XL

Titus Andronicus, who had one of my favorite albums of 2k8 with The Airing of Grievances are back with a new album, The Monitor. It’s out this Tuesday, March 9 and it is a sprawling epic of an album. 10 tracks over the course of 1 hour and not a bad one in the bunch. Initially I wasn’t so thrilled about the use of violin, piano and some of the bar room sound of the whole thing. It sounded a bit like a more punk version of The Hold Steady. But, after repeated listens this is one of my favorite records right now. Don’t be scared off by that dark cover and supposed Civil War theme of the whole thing. It’s a loose association, the album is really about being an outcast and being okay with that; about fighting to make your own place and to rally the outcasts to stand up for the things they love.

Frontman Patrick Stickles sounds more like Conor Oberst than ever before and I mean that as a compliment. In fact the album that The Monitor often brings to mind is Oberst’s own work with Desaparecidos, one of my most favorite albums. Standouts include “Richard II,” “Four Score and Seven,” “Titus Andronicus Forever” & “To Old Friends and New.” Perhaps my favorite moment on the album is the insane guitar line within “The Battle of Hampton Roads.” You’ll know it when you hear it.

So buy the thing when it comes out. Here it is on CD or Vinyl.

      Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union

      Titus Andronicus - Four Score and Seven

And if you need further convincing…

Previous Titus coverage including additional mp3’s.