awkwardsound - Song Review: Titus Andronicus' "In a Big City"

A couple of months ago, Patrick Stickles and the rest of his revolving door of Titus Andronicus accomplices fired off the first warning shot that the New Jersey band’s next step might see them breaking away from the epic guitar gestures that defined 2010’s phenomenal punk opus The Monitor. What you consider “epic” might actually be a matter of relativity however, as “In a Big City,” the first single from the Titus Andronicus’ forthcoming album Local Business (due out October 22nd on XL Recordings) doesn’t quite escape the notion of a good anthem rather just than find a small, supportive friend-filled circle for it to call “home.” Stickles leads his troops into battle — this time, abandoning his hoarse musings in favor of defiantly not being able to carry a note — against the horrors of gentrification, the restrictions a location can levy and even taking aim at how far the sub-culture of the “hipster” has fallen from grace thanks to the invisible borders constructed around the tri-state area. Despite saying it all in a chorus instead of a shout, the frontman’s voice is still authentically coarse and convincing, making his defense of Jersey in front of a cast of backing vocals, rickety riffs, marching percussion and a swelling string section led by Owen Pallett sound more like a Civl War-era call to arms rather than The Monitor‘s many battle cries. It’s still not completely clear where Stickles is commandeering Titus Andronicus on Local Business, but by the sounds of “In a Big City,” he’s got ample backing going into this turf war.

Titus Andronicus – “In a Big City”