Side One Dummy
If you’re somebody who grew up listening to the 90’s output of labels like Jade Tree and Polyvinyl, then ‘emo’ won’t be a dirty word for you. You may look back longingly over your collection of Promise Ring and Mineral records and wonder what exactly happened to the genre, but rest assured my kindred emo spirit, all has not been lost and forgotten. For starters, we have Title Fight.
Following on from a slew of EPs, demos and compilations, it seems odd to be calling this Title Fight’s debut album, but that’s how it’s being sold. Now signed to Side One Dummy it’s undoubtedly their biggest release to date, and it both delivers and expands on expectations. While the Kingston, Pennsylvania band have maintained at least some of their breakneck approach to song writing, this is also a far more rounded effort with a range of different styles explored. While initially I was unsure of the band’s noticeable drop in pace, these songs stay with you, and the band’s progression makes for a more complete and diverse debut record.
In saying that, the band still knows when to let rip, and there is still plenty of instant punk gems on offer. Take single ‘27’ (see video below), for example, which is a front runner for my favourite song of the year. As anthemic as any of their earlier work, the signature combination of palm-muted chords and Jamie Rhoden’s rasping vocal is near pop-punk perfection. The sound is pure 90’s yet somehow manages to feel utterly timeless, even alongside its brilliantly nostalgic music video.
Title Fight are over in the UK next month and I, for one, can’t wait to see these songs brought to life. In a year that’s absolutely brimming with exceptional punk and hardcore records, Shed stands up among the very best of them.