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Titus Andronicus: Local Business

XL Recordings

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New Jersey quintet Titus Andronicus has never lacked ambition, Springsteenian anthems, or sociopolitical commentary, and Local Business is no exception. Sonically, the album is a return to the group's punk roots, blending organ-fueled R&B and garage-punk with the barroom bristle of the New York Dolls and the Clash's ragged punk swagger. Prolix frontman Patrick Stickles raises his collar against "a deluge of hipsters," and struggles more with interior demons than external forces. It's a case of GIGO with the vibrant eight-minute "My Eating Disorder," and the group channels Misfits-era hardcore with "Titus Andronicus vs. The Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO)" and its repeated refrain "I'm going insane." The album is raw yet slightly more polished than its predecessors. Even at 50 minutes it's built for repeat listens. (4 out of 5 stars)

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