Just like a well-loved solid body guitar the Pennsylvania four piece Title Fight’s sound just gets better with age. Their new album Hyperview demonstrates their creative direction as of late and is a far cry from their original sound.
The band while only recently establishing themselves as modern emo kings have churned out music since 2003. Back then it was pre-pubescent pop-punk songs with a surf-rock edge, now they have transformed their sound to a mid-tempo shoegaze twang with guitars that bath in reverb laden effects and vocals that drawl calmly with a held-back emotion apparent in their tone.
Hyperview sees the once royalty of pop-punk Title Fight broaden their horizons without losing any of their edge.
Their genre-skipping flexibility and lack of a constant niche has become Title Fight’s niche on the last few releases. This niche has drawn attention from the most unlikely of sources. For instance their heartbreaking yet restrained masterpiece Your Pain Is Mine has attracted attention by fashion magazine Vogue whom claimed Title Fight were performing a pretty side of punk on that particular track. It is beautiful, the delicate vocals gleam over reverberat-ingly bright jangly guitars.
The vocals are the most noticeable change on the album is the lack of throaty yells by the dual vocalists Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin who appear to be quite sombre and soft throughout the entirety of the album. This doesn’t always go to their advantage as there simply aren’t songs that engage the listener in any chest-pounding emotional yelling. It feels like Title Fight has simply lost their knockout blow that they once delivered so frequently. Take the first single off the album, Chlorine the guitars have the band’s classic rhythmic urgency and build up to explode with some intense vocals which never follow, it’s much more flowery which creates a darker atmosphere. It’s just an interesting change that stylistically is brilliant but doesn’t quite blow the listener away.
Rose Of Sharon will be the track that most appeals to fans of Title Fight’s older sound with Ned’s shouted unrestrained vocals leaping out of the corner and swinging hard to place some energy back in the album. Rose Of Sharon is the most energising track off the album but also hints not so subtly that maybe the band needed change to grow musically and personally. “Stood in one place restrained/ Roses, like me need rain”. The group sure aren’t the high schoolers they were when they first started to be notice in the punk scene and hey teen angst does go away.
Hyperview as a whole feels like Title Fight viewing the world with no subjectivity, a clear head and observing things in their purest form. It’s a truly organic change of season for the once pop-punk champions of the world. Life is now very dreamy for the four piece from Kingston showing no intention to stop exploring this interesting new direction of personal and sonic exploration.
Hyperview is out now on ANTI-records. Catch Title Fight in June and July on their third Australia tour.
Friday June 19 The Brightside, Brisbane
Saturday June 20 The Lab, Brisbane
Sunday June 21 YAC, Byron Bay
Tuesday June 23 The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Wednesday June 24 Factory Theatre, Sydney
Thursday June 25 City Club, Canberra
Friday June 26 Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday June 27 Phoenix Youth Centre, Melbourne
Sunday June 28 The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Tuesday June 30 Uni Bar, Adelaide
Wednesday July 1 Amplifier, Perth
Thursday July 2 YMCA HQ, Perth
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