Title Fight


Written by: PP on 08/02/2015 22:40:53

Throughout their discography, Title Fight have never sounded the same from album to album. Early tracks compilation "The Last Thing You Forget" introduced the band to the wider audience with lightning speed melodic hardcore punk with technical leads drawing your mind towards A Wilhelm Scream. That approach changed rather radically on debut album "Shed", which saw the band ditch speed and pure technicality in favour of punk rooted post-hardcore. There were a few elements of contemplation and intricacy present already here, but it first blossomed to its full potential on genre-defining masterpiece "Floral Green" three years ago. Topping multiple album-of-the-year lists across the internet, the band's explosive brand of post-hardcore finally resulted in a perfectly balanced mix between dreamy post-hardcore and rage-fueled complex progressive punk that essentially resulted in the international breakthrough for the band. Therefore, it's no surprise to find that the band have changed yet again for their third full-length album "Hyperview". And the jump is at least as massive as it was from the compilation to "Shed", if not an even bigger leap. Fans are going to have a difficult time with this one.

If "Head In The Ceiling Fan" was the band's first attempt at toying with shoegaze without venturing too far from their origins on "Floral Green", the songs on "Hyperview" reflect a full embrace of Pitchfork style hipsterism. Screams and coarse vocals have been dropped almost entirely in favour of an all-encompassing shoegaze expression that sees the (entirely clean) vocals pushed far back in the atmosphere, and an overload of reverb tone applied on top of the previously punk-rooted instrumentation. Instead, we're now drawing from indie rock and from softer noise genres, resulting in a frankly odd soundscape that fails to highlight the best parts of Title Fight's sound. The key moments of explosive emotion and passion have been replaced by smoothly flowing experimentalism and subdued atmospherics, which sees Title Fight push their soundscape to its outer limits. I hesitate to call it an expansive sound, because it's not like the band have inflated it with artificial production measures that many bands on the brink of the mainstream tend to stumble on, but it's certainly far more spacious and roomy than anything else we've heard from the band in the past.

The best songs on the record are those leaked as singles. "Rose Of Sharon", for instance, is the perfect bridge between "Floral Green" era and "Hyperview" era Title Fight, retaining some of the raw passion that was so visibly on display in the past. Likewise, "Chlorine" draws from their hardcore-inspired past, but only briefly, because it is primarily indulging shoegaze as its primary measure of keeping the song together. The whole ordeal feels oddly contained, much like the Basement record "Colourmeindkindness" that saw them embrace a similar ideal of contemplative atmospherics and dreamy introversion. But where Basement's expression detonated an emotional bomb underneath its expression, "Hyperview" feels like a let down in comparison, as if we're constantly waiting for the vocals to take an abrupt turn into the edgy and throaty screams we're accustomed to hearing from the band. If they did that, "Hyperview" would be a very different kind of a record straight away. For now, the dreamy atmospheres blend together without really saying all that much in the process. It's a divisive direction and a brave turn to take as a band, which regrettably cleanses out the highlight moments of their beloved expression in favour of forgettable shoegaze melodies and quiet introspection.

Download: Rose Of Sharon, Chlorine, MRAHC, Hypernight
For the fans of: No Age, Basement
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.02.2015

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