Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 4/12
Written by: PP on 03/10/2012 06:12:35
It hasn't been easy being a Title Fight fan considering how the band makes drastic changes in their sound from album to album keeping only a few red threads intact. "The Last Thing You Forget" was a melodic hardcore mini-album that recalled Lifetime's seminal albums from the 90s, and last year's debut "Shed" shifted the band into the direction of more complex punk/hardcore mixture that was clearly inspired by the work of Polar Bear Club. These were both solid albums in their own right, and hinted that there's something special about Title Fight that just might manifest itself in the future. And that's exactly what has happened on their sophomore album "Floral Green". It's a record that sees Title Fight modify their sound yet again, but this time they've hit a gold mine and have written what is one of the best albums in 2012 by all possible metrics, a masterpiece in its genre.
Basically, if "Shed" saw the band mature from the highly melodic and fast-paced punk rock into a more meaningful sound that incorporated lots of introspective emo/hardcore into the mix, then "Floral Green" is their coming-of-age album where the complexity has been upped significantly and the melodies have transitioned from easy singalongs into powerfully screamed anthems that are no longer easily described by mere genres. There's a bit of hardcore, bit of post-hardcore, bit of punk rock, bit of alternative rock, bit of emo in there, but not enough of any to justify a specific genre label. The speed has been shafted further from "Shed" to allow for an exceptionally complex and multifaceted soundscape that sees perfect interplay between raw guitars and emotionally powerful screams, as well as instrumental lulls, explosive moments of energy, and most importantly, unforgettable melodies that are so not because they are catchy, but because of their unbelievable emotional intensity. "Like A Ritual", for instance, is a nostalgia-driven song where the guitars at first seem deceivingly simple, but when placed together with the masterfully delivered vocal screams, they add just the right kind of texture for the song to embed itself into your memory permanently.
Coming in as a fan of the band's previous work, it is important to note that the band's melodic hardcore infused pop punk is now only an afterthought in their sound as they've added depth and intricacy into their soundscapes in a comparable (and perhaps even stronger) evolution as Living With Lions did from "Make Your Mark" to "Holy Shit". Most of the tracks are now so heavily embedded with burning emotional intensity that it's difficult to believe this is a band that once wrote bright melodic hardcore / punk rock songs, especially given how dark and brooding many of the songs are by their nature. And for once in my lifetime, I think it's absolutely for the better. Not just musically and vocally, but lyrically, too. It's as complete an album as I can think of, with a unifying sound that's executed throughout the record brilliantly, but also with enough variety and absolutely jaw-dropping vocal work to make every single song on the record stick out. It's nearly impossible to pick out the highlights, but the trio of "Sympathy", "Frown" and "Calloused" together make up one hell of a combination when they are fired after each other, but then again, the same can be said about the opening four or five tracks as well. It's also worth noting though that "Floral Green" is a grower type of album if there ever was one. Just like the debut album by Polar Bear Club, it's the kind of record that doesn't open up properly if you only listen to it in passing. It requires attention to detail and some effort before it unveils itself properly. But once it does, the rewards are massive. This is the best work Title Fight have written and hands down the best album in its style in 2012, although to call it a specific style is inaccurate as in reality, Title Fight have crafted a world of their own on "Floral Green".
Download: Like A Ritual, Secret Society, Sympathy, Frown
For the fans of: Basement, Balance And Composure, Seahaven, Polar Bear Club
Release date 18.09.2012