Title Fight
Shed


3.0
good

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2011 | 99 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


Allow me to begin a review of Title Fight’s new album ‘Shed’ by discussing Tigers Jaw’s most recent album, ‘Two Worlds’… Perhaps the most noticeable, and disappointing aspect of that album was how the band had toned down the ‘punk’ part of their Smiths-style pop-punk in favour of an even more languishing pace and depressive tone. While it was not a ‘bad’ album, so to speak, the loss of youthful energy and relative absence of infectious hooks was definitely underwhelming. Furthermore, this decline seemed to be the result of a conscious decision to move away from the band’s pop-punk roots.

Which brings us back to Kingston, PA pop-punk/melodic-hardcore band Title Fight and their new album, ‘Shed’… While Title Fight have always seemed to be more high-octane than the aforementioned Tigers Jaw (debut album ‘The Last Thing You Forget’ was heavily influenced by bands such as Lifetime and Kid Dynamite), there were certainly plenty of similarities to be found between the two. A new similarity is that both bands’ second albums see them both tentatively try to step away from the pop-punk found on their debuts.

Such a departure is immediately obvious on ‘Shed’, being noticeably slower than its predecessor. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the album tends to suffer from the same problem which plagued Tigers Jaw’s ‘Two Worlds’, and that is that it feels lethargic as opposed to more expansive and mature. Songs like ‘Society’ and ‘Where Am I?’ plod along wearily and generally disrupt the flow of the album. However, when the band wholeheartedly commit to their newfound approach the results are much more pleasing. The prime example of this is the enthrallingly placid picked notes of ‘Safe In Your Skin’ which is by far the slowest song on the album, and also the prettiest. The Foo Fighters-esque rock of the title track is equally pleasing, while the awfully titled ‘Crescent Shaped Depression’ (really?!) is an example of Title Fight occupying the middle-ground well, striking the perfect balance between pop-hooks, punk energy, and mid-tempo maturity.

Unfortunately though ‘Shed’ is characterised by the absence, or at least the toning down of what made ‘The Last Thing You Forget’ so special. That album’s twin vocal assault briefly rears its head on ‘Stab’ in timid fashion, but has largely been replaced by Jamie Rhoden’s endearing, passionately strained vocals. But perhaps most disappointing is the lack of youthful exuberance and infectiousness which marked their debut. There isn’t a single song on here which makes you want to shout along in the way that ‘Symmetry’ or ‘Youreyeah’ did – even the relatively vibrant 90’s-style melodic-hardcore of ‘Flood of ‘72’ and ‘You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You’. While bemoaning the lack of traits which benefitted a different album may seem redundant, the lack of a sufficient replacement leaves an inescapably disappointing void.

‘Shed’ finds Title Fight seemingly caught in two minds. ‘The Last Thing You Forget’ saw them master the vibrant infectiousness of pop-punk married with melodic hardcore, but at times hinted at a more progressive potential for the band. Essentially, on ‘Shed’ the band are awkwardly stuck between the two: youthful energy and mature expansion and more often than not the result is inoffensively stagnant. Fortunately there are more than enough respectable moments to salvage the album, most of which occur when the band are more confident in what they are trying to achieve. Though the departure found on ‘Shed’ is not mind-blowingly ambitious, the band’s efforts to progress are commendable enough and though the band’s potential wasn’t fully realised here, it is still far too early to rule Title Fight down for the count.



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user ratings (366)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
balcaen
May 3rd 2011


3183 Comments


damn, really?
i really dug their last album and i was looking forward to checking this out. probably still will, but... bummer.

oh and pos.

cvlts
May 3rd 2011


8955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sounds like they're tryin to grow up a little TOO fast, if ya namsayin.

liked this a little more than you, but i agree with this review. pos

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 3rd 2011


10594 Comments


I heard this was pretty decent. 2011 is gonna be the year I get a little more into hardcore. Pulling Teeth and Weekend Nachos are on my radar.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

pmmets07
May 3rd 2011


5875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

agree with review for the most part. i was a bit disappointed at first, but the album grew on me pretty quickly. i think it's a really cohesive album though. i'd say title track, Your Screen Door, and 27 are the highlights. i think the Kingston EP (Memorial Field, Loud and Clear, and YoureEyeAh) is the best thing they've done.

i feel like a lot of bands are becoming slower and "more mature" like this. Transit, Tigers Jaw, Title Fight... it's kinda disappointing

craigy2
May 3rd 2011


551 Comments


It's certainly not a bad album, just a little underwhelming. I reckon it'll be interesting to see what they do next.

iFghtffyrdmns
May 3rd 2011


7047 Comments


nice review craigy
I'm seeing these guys in june with touche amore, still need to get around to checking out their stuff.

Spluger
May 3rd 2011


1146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't bought the album yet, but I love the title track, 27 & Flood of 72 so I'm sure the rest of the record is gunna be amazing. I'm also seeing them in June with Touche Amore. Gunna be a fucking amazing show.

craigy2
May 3rd 2011


551 Comments


Cheers, Eric. That's with Menzingers as well, right? I saw them support btmi! and they were really good! I'd recommend 'The Last Thing You Forget' over this, by the way.

iFghtffyrdmns
May 3rd 2011


7047 Comments


yeah that's right they're playing that show too... should probably check their stuff out as well.

LifeInABox
May 3rd 2011


3708 Comments


the split with erection kids is their best immature work. The Last Thing You Forget is them grown up. This just continues it.

Pulling Teeth fucking suck. Listen to Left For Dead.

OneMoreRoland
May 4th 2011


1050 Comments


I loved the guitar leads in The Last Thing You Forget. There's less of them on shed...

tom79
May 4th 2011


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really diggin this band lately. I would go see them with the Menzingers next month but my buddy's band is opening for A Wilhelm Scream the same day.

I probably prefer their debut over this, but this is still really good.

Digging: Business Models - Room

Dragunov
May 7th 2011


59 Comments


I like mature

Kris.
May 8th 2011


12345 Comments


never really listened to these guys before this but damn this is good

snerefedsav
May 8th 2011


825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree with genocide that it sounds like they're trying to grow up too fast, but this is still a great album. i would love to see what they do next when they have more genuine maturity

Girvo
May 9th 2011


30 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Last Thing You Forget just grabbed me in a way no other recent pop/punk record really had. This album is a progression of that, but I agree that it's missing the energy, the teen angst I guess, that their previous work had.

Agreed with all the people saying they're trying to grow up too fast. It's still a _good_ album however!

Damrod
Moderator
May 10th 2011


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The new album has a little Sunny Day Real Estate-vibe to it, which I quite dig. Though their older songs were more energetic, they never really caught me. Shed was an instant success with me.

tom79
May 10th 2011


3372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also get a Jawbreaker vibe from this, especially the guitar in 'Safe in your Skin', very reminiscent of Dear You .

guitarplaya91
May 23rd 2011


485 Comments


I got the sunny day real estate vibe as well. I do enjoy the 90's production they're going for.

AtavanHalen
May 26th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of the best albums I've heard all year. Just fantastic.



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