Review Summary: They grow up so fast, don't they?
Only a year has passed since Title Fight released their proper full length debut Shed
which surprised some fans because of its drastic shift in sound. The four piece based out of Kingston, Pennslyvania started off as more of a pop punk band which can be heard throughout the band's great compilation album The Last Thing You Forget,
and with their next release Shed,
the band moved on to a more melodic hardcore/emo sound, slowing down the songs and attempting to create a more mature sound with more serious lyrics and subtle guitar work. But sometimes a band can grow up too quickly as Shed
was most certainly a lackluster album that started off strong enough, but begin to feel like more of the same and lose focus up until the end. Unfortunately Floral Green
is a bit more of the same and I can't help but feel that maybe Title Fight rushed this album, or maybe they just can't write a full album worth of great material, as their only excellent album is the compilation The Last Thing You Forget
which was written over an extended period of time. Either way Floral Green
is a top heavy middle of the road melodic hardcore album that can barely keep its head above water, let alone live up to the classic 90's releases of the genre.
It's odd that a band with two singer/songwriters can't come up with 32 minutes of top notch material. Part of the problem lies in the lack of originality between the two songwriters Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin and also how similar they both sound. On Title Fight's last album Shed
both singers migrated to a more gruff yelling type of vocals reminiscent of Hot Water Music and it makes them both sound way too similar. The guitarist Jamie's unique high voice has been squandered by the need to sound gruff and his former vocal style would have greatly helped him stand out on his contributions to Floral Green.
By far best track on the album "Head In The Ceiling Fan" has a unique dream like vocal style that stands out mostly because it isn't more of the same. Title Fight have definitely taken a step back in the vocal department in an effort to better fit the songs, but ultimately it just makes the songs sound alike.
A big problem of Floral Green
is the lack of stand out tracks and that most of the better tracks are in the first half. "Numb But I Still Feel It" is a capable opener with some great guitar work and vocals that sets the pace for the rest of the record, while "Head In The Ceiling Fan" as already mentioned stands out as the most unique and interesting track on the record. It's repetitive dream like nature beckons back to the 90's emo scene and shows what the band strives to be, unfortunately it's the only track of its kind on Floral Green. The end of the track transitions nicely into the next track, the beautiful "Make You Cry" which continues with the 90's worship with it's loud-quiet-loud song structure and subtle background guitar work. After these great string of tracks, Floral Green
significantly drops off with the second half having nothing memorable about it. It could be that Floral Green
just isn't fun enough or strong enough to hold my attention through its 32 minute run time which may not seem long, but it is for the genre. Floral Green
could have been a lot better if it was around 20 minutes like many of the classic albums in the genre. Any potential the few great tracks on the album have are squandered by the numerous uninteresting tracks.
is certainly not a bad album, it's just disappointing considering how much talent and potential the band has. Title Fight went from being a top shelf fun pop-punk band to a middle of the pack melodic hardcore/emo band in a matter of two albums and it feels like the band tried to grow up too quickly instead of transitioning naturally into their new sound. I can appreciate the need a band has to grow and develop, but Title Fight did themselves a disservice by switching to a genre that gets more scrutiny instead of playing it safe as a pop punk band. Maybe on their next album Title Fight will finally fit comfortably into their new sound, but for now there's nothing in this record that I couldn't get out of a Hot Water Music or Jawbreaker album.