Looking for new music? DJs at WVAU share their thoughts on a range of recent releases.
Titus Andronicus | Local Business
New Jersey indie punks get personal.
Titus Andronicus didn’t try to remake “The Monitor” with their latest release, “Local Business.” There are more pop flavors here, most notably in the vein of Bruce Springsteen and rock ‘n’ roll pioneers. The band plays with more mid-tempos and allows their punk side to accentuate bursts of energy.
The album feels very personal, almost written like a diary. Lead singer Patrick Stickles writes about his struggles with food, smoking, anxiety and self-loathing. Titus Andronicus skillfully juxtaposes these serious themes with a lighthearted silliness heard in tracks like “Food Fight!” and lyrics like “Look at this youngish man / Already halfway off with his pants / He’s doing something weird with his hands.”
The album’s thesis is “My Eating Disorder,” an eight-minute grandiose rock anthem that contains one of the album’s most memorable sections as Stickles groans “Spit it out” over and over until it turns into a frustrated scream.
While some may be taken aback by the band’s change in sound, all of the fun and rambunctiousness of a Titus Andronicus album are present.
Recommended If You Like: Japandroids, Bruce Springsteen, Ty Segall Band
By Cameron Stewart, “Sultry Red Feedback” — Saturdays, 3 to 4 a.m.
A.C. Newman | Shut Down the Streets
Pulling from the best of his previous musical experience, Newman creates an introspective and deceptively simple sound.
For his third solo album, Newman comes into his own, with songs circling around life-changing moments, such as the birth of his son and the death of his mother.
The singer-songwriter has a prolific musical resume and seems to have taken the best of this experience and applied it to this release. The songs themselves are simple and fall toward an older, soft folk pop sound and the harmonies are rich, with vocal support being given by New Pornographers’ bandmate Neko Case.
“Shut Down the Streets” is a look into Newman’s life that’s sometimes amusing (“There’s Money in New Wave”) and intimate (“You Could Get Lost Out Here”). As a whole, this release is reflective, wistful and an example of a solo project that’s reached its potential.
RIYL: Elvis Costello, Thao & Mirah, The Pastels
By Leigh Hopkins, “Ambient bloom” - Mondays, 4 to 6 p.m.
Ty Segall | Twins
A fun record with heavy yet melodic hooks.
While less heavy and psychedelic than “Slaughterhouse,” Segall still demonstrates in “Twins” that he can masterfully combine the heaviest sounding guitars and rhythm section with a catchy melody.
Segall’s singing is more refined on this album, with no full force screaming. Sure, he belts it out on some tracks, like the rocker “You’re the Doctor,” but it is nothing out of control.
In “The Hill,” Segall combines beautiful vocal harmonies with fuzzy, distorted guitars. We also get to hear a gentle acoustic song (“Gold On the Shore”) comprised of just guitar, bass and vocals. On the rest of the tracks, the fuzzy guitars couldn’t sound dirtier and vocals are melodious, making for a solid album with a nice flow.
RIYL: Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, Jeff the Brotherhood
By Drew Sher, “Fur Sher” - Thursdays, 3 to 4 p.m.