Will Yip was the man who charted Pianos Become The Teeth’s new course musically. From screamo and post-hardcore to melodic, soothing beauty. Here, he does the same for Title Fight, not as extreme, but definitely in great measure and thus, completing the transformation hinted at on records like Shed and his stamp-approved Floral Green. What this record signifies is Title Fight finally delves full-fledged into the more indie side of indie-punk with high doses of experimentation, shoegaze and dream-pop abound. The punk factor is very negligible and only time will tell how this minority factor leads them on.
“Murder Your Memory” and “Dizzy” are prime examples of this – hypnotic, dark, swirling with heavy basslines. The album’s melodic and charming and not as heavy/gruff as they may have alluded to in interviews. If you’re looking for the driving upbeat rhythms that gave them the brooding sound and fanbase of old, then you’re gonna have a tough time finding it here – although “New Vision” does try to establish this.
The swing to the old style never happens in full and it must be noted that this atmosphere allows them more room to breathe and expound in terms of lyrics. Jamie Rhoden has never been more contemplative and vulnerable on a record that rarely packs the backup vocals of old.
The wispy, lo-fi, distorted, reverb aura of the album offsets anything you new about Title Fight’s nature to make brash and in-your-face post-hardcore/punk. It feels like new territory. But it is engaging and an ethereal throwback for ’90s fans. Think Nai Harvest meets Basement. It’s an unconventional album that needs a few listens but it isn’t one to write them off yet. Still, I must admit – I wanted more of the old Title Fight.