Titus Andronicus and their Fatal Flaw
Matt Lengren considers the newest offering from the New Jersey-based punk/indie legends.
1. Titus Andronicus’ 2010 album The Monitor is the best rock album I’ve ever heard;
2. Although it remains to be seen, it could be the best rock album of my generation; and
3. Yes, I’m putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on them following up the Civil War-themed behemoth that was The Monitor with their upcoming album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy.
Listen to, or just absorb the titles of, a couple of Titus Andronicus songs – Upon Viewing Brueghel’s “Landscape With The Fall of Icarus”, or Richard II or Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Responsible Hate Anthem), perhaps – and you get the impression that lead singer Patrick Stickles digs grand gestures (that is, if the Shakespeare-influenced band name and album title didn’t give it away).
It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that TMLT will be a 29-song “rock opera”, scheduled for release late-July. Massive, anthemic themes and intimidating song titles aside, TMLT’s hitherto released singles, Dimed Out and Fatal Flaw, are bona fide ball-tearers.
Stickles screams, “Blame it on the drugs, yeah, oh yeah/I’m paying off the drug dealer, always,” and similar lines throughout the better of the two singles, Fatal Flaw. The song enters the ears as three-and-a-half minutes of beer-drenched pub-punk rock, which possesses both the catchiness of The Men’s 2014 single Dark Waltz and the barstool-hurling potential of Single Mothers’ Half-Lit.
The lyrics here, describing Stickles’ trips to the pharmacy to collect prescription medication for manic depression, are removed from the theatrical ones presented in The Monitor, but do share sentiment. The finale of the song Titus Andronicus Forever, for example, contains this sentence from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln: “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.”
July is shaping up as a massive month in releases, with Tame Impala, Ratatat and, of course, Titus Andronicus putting out three potential (nay, definite) end-of-year heavyweight long players. Listen to Fatal Flaw below:
Words by Matt Lengren