Titus Andronicus
The Airing of Grievances


5.0
classic

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
October 7th, 2010 | 134 replies | 24,348 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What I learned from Titus Andronicus:

I have a very specific picture in my head of Patrick Stickles, one that is reinforced every single time I listen to The Airing Of Grievances: he is in an apartment that is dull and empty save for the chair he is sitting in and an almost empty bottle at his feet. There is one single window through which he can see every injustice and lie and slight in this world. More important than that, though, is what you cannot see in this picture: the people in the neighboring apartment are playing music. They are playing exactly what Stickles has always wanted to hear. But they are not playing a soundtrack to what goes on outside his window, nor are they are playing a soundtrack to combat it. They are simply playing. No agenda, no ego. And for his part, Stickles is screaming along, alone in his tiny apartment but a part of something, and, like a Polaroid in reverse, the window fades away and the chair fades away and the bottle fades away and the walls fade away until there is nothing but these young gentlemen singing and playing long into the night.

This is not solely because of Stickles's lyrics or the general attitude of Titus Andronicus's music. No, mostly I get this image in my head because of the production on The Airing Of Grievances. Stickles simply sounds separate from the rest of the band, as if he is singing along to a recording of the music rather than fronting the band with a guitar of his own. At first, this seemed to make the album disjointed, as if vocalist and band were two entirely separate entities pasted together. But there is a sort of jovial enmity there in the sense that the music is constantly at war with itself, each sound vying for dominance but never quite achieving it, and in that way, working together. And of course there is Stickles - part charismatic frontman, part bearded freak, part motivational speaker, part existential problem in a bottle - in the middle of it all, doing his best to fight the demons outside his window by fighting the demons inside his mind. Through the distorted fuzz he is there with street-performer panache, with preacherman persuasion, spouting introspective insights, searing judgments, and common-man philosophies fitting for these modern times.

Never has there been a band quite like Titus Andronicus; that is, there's never been a band that has shouted an axiom so loudly, adhered to a tenet so mightily as they do to the fact that life is just too fucking short for all this bullshit. Other bands have shouted this too, of course, but none of them have turned it into a creed as Titus Andronicus have, never has it seemed like such a call to arms to stop being such a waste, and it is also a reassurance that you don't need to make a lot of money to do so, that by getting together with people and simply being, you've spent a night well. Such conviction, such flesh-and-bones realness is what music should always be. The Airing Of Grievances is not about anything so much as it is for everything - the beauty of life, the tragedy of life wasted, the looming of death and the desire to go out having lived fully - no, it is not about those things at all, it is for those things, it is a collection of songs written as odes to the gritty and the beautiful and the mixing of the two: our world, our sick world. This album is a constant reminder that you can love your country without being blinded by it, that you can die penniless but absolutely happy, that the political is always personal, and that being a part of the crowd is not a bad thing if you've found something worth following.



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user ratings (274)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mike Allen (4)
Fuck everything, fuck me...

WhatSayYou (4.5)
"There is not a doctor that can diagnose me/I am dying slowly from Patrick Stickle's Disease."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
October 8th 2010



1688 Comments


So you're pretty good at this reviewing thing.

I haven't heard this album yet but I will soon enough and I will like it.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 8th 2010



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome

the last paragraph is absolutely spot on

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Satellite
October 8th 2010



20678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"You think you can come and go as you please? You can't quit, you're fucking fired."

Great review Chan.

Digging: Dikembe - Mediumship

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks dudes and dudette

arms against atrophy has the greatest riff of all time

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


i cant really stand this band but this is a very good review and explains why i should probably change
my mind pretty well

i mean obviously this review wasnt written to convince the haters out there but any review good enough
always has me double checking the album just to make sure. as such ill be doing so tomorrow

good stuff

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yr still in high school and don't know the ways of the world yet that's why you don't like them

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


theyve got riffs and lyrics and yells and all those good ingredients but however it is that they make
it come together just doesnt work for me. things happen that should be exciting but instead i just
feel like switching to something else. which isnt to say the band is devoid of good stuff but for the
most part it's a one song deal at most

i dislike the lyrics less than i did before. now im mostly just apathetic

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



17197 Comments


staff handing out 5's like kittens

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yr still in high school and don't know the ways of the world yet that's why you don't like them


robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


man fuck this shit whenvr im tryin to say shit bout music yall are like lol robertsona fuckin gay i
can just imagin u guys crowded around your stupid fuckin laptop pattin each other on the dick lo lwe
got em good thatll teach em for speaking his mind about music wow thats fuckin cool make a robertsona
young 12 yr old joke lol hes got 2 shake it off and act like it aint no thang or else were gonna be
like lol trolled u got mad lol maybe ill even make a srs reply to him when nobodys looking lol jk
thatd be gay hey guys

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the mask is peeling

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


when did i get 7000 comments jesus h christ

Tits McGee
October 8th 2010



1876 Comments


good review Chan. I like the Monitor, so of course Ill get this!

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



6085 Comments


man fuck this shit whenvr im tryin to say shit bout music yall are like lol robertsona blah blah


And then you'll move past this phase (talking like this, jesus shut up) and we'll all like you, perhaps you'll get there quicker

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


lol troled

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



6085 Comments


The best thing that could possibly happen to Sputnik is robertson revealed to be eliminator

tho I am going to have to agree with his assessment of this album though Chan your review is inspiring

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



14989 Comments


we're not so different, see, i just spell words wrong

WeepingBanana
October 8th 2010



10047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YOUR LIFE IS OVER YOUR LIFE IS OVER YOUR LIFE IS OVER YOU LIFE IS OOOVER

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yr still in high school and don't know the ways of the world yet that's why you don't like them


thats what i said! all along!

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Transient
October 8th 2010



1461 Comments


one of your best reviews yet

album is awesome



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