Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

The boys from Jersey kick off their new album, loosely based on the American Civil War, with a quote from Abraham Lincoln before twisting Springsteen‘s words to declare that ‘tramps like us were born to die!’ This is Titus Andronicus and they have not changed much since 2008’s amazing The Airing of Grievances.

Springsteen meets The Replacements is how a lot of people explain this band, but if you would like a more modern reference, let’s say this is what Bright Eyes would sound like if they were garage punk instead of folk and took a cue from The Boss instead of Dylan.

These kids from Glen Rock, NJ scream ANGST!  The cover might be a picture from the Civil War and song titles such a A More Perfect Union, Four Score and Seven and The Battle of Hampton Roads might hint toward a concept album, but when they holler ‘the enemy is everywhere!!!’ and quote Lincoln saying ‘I am the most miserable man living’, you get the feeling they are talking about problems much more current and close to their hearts than a war fought in the 1860’s.

At a running time of an hour and ten minutes, this is probably the longest playing punk album I’ve heard…but it’s also one of the most exciting (recently).  And even though they claim ‘you’ll always be a loser’ over and over again on No Future, I have a feeling this album and the amazing reviews of their SXSW performances will prove these guys are winners and Titus Andronicus has a bright future ahead.