Titus Andronicus

Saturday

SXSW Records

Titus Andronicus

The Airing of Grievances (XL)

"Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ" opens Titus Andronicus' debut LP with all the force of Hunter S. Thompson, its buried verse exploding with a "fuck you" that unleashes a raucous punk screed. Powered by hyperliterate allusions (John Donne, Cormac McCarthy) as much as by a Pogues-like stomp, the Jersey quintet courses a wild abandon feeding the bloodlust of its Shakespearean namesake. Sarim Al-Rawi's vocals pack the quivering catharsis of Conor Oberst's early intensity on "Joset of Nazareth's Blues" and "Arms Against Atrophy," while swelling choruses correlate calls of "Your life is over!" ("Titus Andronicus") and "Good times are here again!" ("No Future Part I"). Torrential guitars and massive backbeats unravel within the epic 21-minute triptych that closes the album, expansive tension and release dramas climaxed by "Albert Camus," which drifts from a mellow distortion into an anthemic howl of hollow, youthful indifference. Angst has a new champion. (Sat., Club de Ville, 1am.)

***.5

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