Title Fight / Shed / SideOneDummy Records
You’d think with the constant chatter about breaking out and being inexperienced revolutionaries, Title Fight would be somewhat intimidated to record and unveil their debut. Yet even with anxious souls rolling their thumbs, the Pennsylvania quartet show no fear. They instead, adapt to clean production (Gorilla Biscuits’ Walter Schreifels) and the we-have-your-back-no-matter-what mentality of a label (SideOneDummy) and churn out 27 minutes of knifing punk, the type that punctures with snarling vocals and abrasive rhythms. “Coxton Yard” kicks air, jutting a barrage of grit-laced energy (“Flood Of ’72”) and melodies scraping off a bit of pop’s skin (“You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You”), which when listened to closely, isn’t really such a bad thing.
Guitarist Jamie Rhoden’s voice may switch to a cleaner tone, but the tempo throbs with guitars crying out, settling into somber chips of riffage that go hand-in-hand with Shed’s hooks and blunt songwriting. Title Fight really stagger when they leak out a more timid side. “Safe In Your Skin” seems so out of place with its submissive nature yet it drips out wounded guitar work on the beginning of the alt rock number “Where Am I?”, which in turn, plays an almost flawless reintroduction to Rhoden’s vocal style. The way the record’s elements compliment each other is attractive in itself. At times it can seem unorthodox, but it’s systematic enough to cling onto your leg and never let go, especially on the title track wailing out, “You are the same, shed your skin / Find a better body to fit in,”. The honesty is explicit, but who said punk was adorable?
Download: “You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You”, “Coxton Yard”
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