With a name like Title Fight comes the connotation of aggression, passion, and an all-or-nothing mentality. And if you’ve heard any of Title Fight’s previous works, one would expect something of that nature—an album filled with battle-like, punk/hardcore-influenced songs. While a select few tracks on Title Fight’s fourth LP Hyperview reflect those concepts, it seems that the foursome out of Kingston, Penn. has found enough confidence to move away from their more aggressive roots and toward a sound that demonstrates the group’s distinct evolution.
Title Flight came together in 2003 when members Jamie Rhoden (guitar and vocals); Shane Moran (guitar); and twins Ned and Ben Russin (bass and drums, respectively) were just in middle school. It took eight years for the collective to release their debut album, The Last Thing You Forget, which featured a vicious sound that would characterize the majority of their work up until the release of Hyperview. Hyperview is a departure from the angsty punk sound that jump-started their career, as it embraces past influences, yet makes noticeable changes to their sound and alters the cliche interpretation of punk as a genre.
The first track, “Murder Your Memory,” has a title that suggests ferocity, yet features a slowly accelerating array of synthesizers building into an unexpectedly beautiful arrangement of meandering guitars, a simple, unaggressive drum beat, and harmless vocals. The songs lyrics suggest forgetting your past and moving forward, which acts as a perfect introduction for the album as Title Fight seems to be doing just that on a musical level.
The following track and lead single “Chlorine” is slightly more upbeat, dominated by heavily reverbed guitars and strikingly muddled vocals. The song certainly brings a different sound to the table, but is somewhat monotone, as it lacks the aggressive, gravelly vocals that characterizes Shed, The Last Thing You Forget, and Floral Green. “Chlorine” transitions into “Hypernight,” a similarly guitar-dominated track with soft vocals, a clear sign of the group moving away from their aggressive nature.
While the fourth track, “Mrahc,” is arguably the closest Title Fight has come to pop, it is easily the most likeable song. Energizing guitar riffs couple with a snare-heavy drumbeat and spirited vocals to make a short and sweet, radio-ready track that anyone could listen to.
With the exception of the sixth track “Rose of Sharon”—a loud, enthusiastic track with a lot of yelling—the remainder of the album is somewhat repetitive. Three of the last four songs on Hyperview sound almost identical and fail to add any substance to the record as a whole. “Murder your Memory,” “Chlorine,” “Mrahc,” and “Rose of Sharon,” are the highlights of the album, with a number of somewhat mediocre tracks in between.
As a whole, Hyperview is a successful deviation from Title Fight’s previous sound. The complete alteration of style is a sign of boldness and confidence in the group’s ability. The album lacks the destructive and forceful nature of previous works, but makes up for it with a well-crafted, more demonstrative sound. Hyperview, while not Title Fight’s strongest work, demonstrates a great level of confidence and passion.
Featured Image Courtesy of Anti-