Posted Feb 23rd, 2015 (1:00 pm) by Sean O'Leary
Title Fight: Hyperview

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Pennsylvania natives Title Fight have been pushing the boundaries of punk since their first record. Comparing heavier tracks from their older releases to tracks off their new record, Hyperview, the growth is obvious.

"Rose Of Sharon" represents both the melodic hardcore Title Fight of days gone by, and the punk influenced, shoegaze-y Title Fight that released Hyperview. The energy is there, but the band have turned in their distortion for a shimmering, dream-like sound. Except for the vocals, the track sounds almost like it could have come off of a Dinosaur Jr. record. Drummer Ben Russin is a monster behind the kit, pounding out the song's snare fills like they're nothing, and driving a song that easily could have become a plodder without him. With him, though, the track represents a new direction that nods to the band's roots, keeping the energy and grit while growing as a group of musicians.

The strangest aspect are the vocals. Ned's screams are distant in the mix, and they're buried underneath a clean vocal harmony, which almost takes over the entire song right up until the very end. This transition of vocal styles is sometimes met with resistance in punk music, since it has become (debatably unfairly) synonymous with a group's "selling out," an issue that Title Fight will definitely have to navigate. The fact that both sets of vocal lines are buried under a wall of guitars doesn't help - questions of "Art or Mistake?" will undoubtedly plague many a YouTube thread.

The point that nobody wants to be playing three chord punk songs their entire lives has been made before (except for people who do - looking at you, Bad Religion). Growth and development in a band's sound is natural, and Title Fight do a great job on "Rose Of Sharon" of not discarding what they learned from punk music. The speed and aggression are there, but the band have branched out into new sounds and musical approaches which stand strongly on their own. You can stream "Rose Of Sharon" above, or purchase it on Bandcamp, and check out the band's new video for the track below.

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