The music of Titus Andronicus, at least from their first two records, has been neurotic and gloomy. One can easily sense this from the title of their debut The Airing of Grievances, to their continual “No Future” song sequence, and the literary power-punk rantings of their Civil War concept album The Monitor in which they quoted former president Abraham Lincoln on how he was “the most miserable man living.”
And now, all of that is about to change. Titus Andronicus’ junior album, Local Business was released in October and features lighter, happier moments like “(I Am The) Electric Man”. The song is fun and repetitive, continuing lead singer Patrick Stickles’ theme of human-electric synthesis (see “No Future, Part Three: Escape from No Future").
As The Monitor was their most successful record, garnering universally positive reviews, the robust LP proposed somewhat of a challenge for the Titus Andronicus to top. Instead of trying to top themselves on Local Business, Titus Andronicus decided to take their music into new territories. Their new album places less emphasis on the rock operas that made them famous, and instead create rousing, repetitive songs like ”Food Fight”, “I Got a Date Tonight” and “(I Am The) Electric Man”.
Upon listening to the release of Local Business, one question was raised about the future of Titus Andronicus’ career. The listener can be reminded of another punk band that broke through to national attention on their third record. A punk band that became known for their rock operas as well as their fun and repetitive music stylings. At the risk of comparing Titus Andronicus, a personal favorite, to the much maligned Green Day, one could draw comparisons between their music styles. Like Green Day, Titus Andronicus’ music may be destined to spend its time shifting positions between serious rock operas and fun, lighter tracks that will most likely garner heavier national attention. They are both bands that broke through on their third album, and then had to worry about topping themselves relatively early in their career.
While the new album has lighter moments, it also serves up a tray of Stickles’ personal issues to draw the listener in. Perhaps the most buzz-worthy of these tracks so far has been “My Eating Disorder”, in which Stickles examines his Selective Eating disorder, in which he would habitually spits out food.
Local Business debuted at number three on the Billboard Heatseekers charts and ranked number eight among the Top Adds on College Music Journal.