Title Fight is an intriguing band. While 2009’s The Last Thing You Forget caused many to pigeonhole them as another band heavily indebted stylistically to an array of bands from the pop-punk/hardcore genres, their 2010 effort, Shed, saw a significant maturation in sound and songwriting capabilities. After two years of solid touring with notable bands like Touchè Amorè, Title Fight have returned with yet another leap in a new direction with Floral Green, further defining their blend of melodic hardcore with tight hooks, crushing distortion, and the odd delicate moment of ambient indie rock.
Floral Green wastes no time in building a driving, frantic beat with album opener “Numb, But I Still Feel It,” a common introductory theme among their past three releases. Quickly defining an atmosphere of gruff vocals and collective discontent, “Leaf” sounds similar to its predecessor, but with a disorienting introduction and unshakable chorus. The album’s first half rounds out perfectly with the 1-2 of “Secret Society” and “Head In The Ceiling Fan.” The former is the record’s standout track, crawling along over a deafeningly heavy bass line and bassist Ned Russin’s scathing words like, “I lost all of my self-respect, I’m such a wreck.” “Head In The Ceiling Fan” sees the first major shift from the old Title Fight, combining guitarist Jamie Rhoden’s slow, soothing vocals with repetitive guitar lines that trickle along at their own laboured pace.
Things pick up where they left off with the explosive “Make You Cry,” a hopeless nod to mortality, before flowing into the equally bleak “Sympathy”, rallying behind Russin’s cry of “I’ve led myself to believe the world has turned its back on me. How’s that for comforting?” The second half of Floral Green extends the band’s experimentation, highlighted by the diverse array of styles expended on the last four tracks. From the very Dinosaur Jr. reminiscent “Frown” to the bass heavy closer “In-Between,” it’s Title Fight’s willingness to expand their sound which makes Floral Green as good as it is.
It’s clear that Title Fight has come a long way in the past several years, dropping pretty much all of their earlier pop-punk tendencies for more expansive landscapes. Floral Green hangs over itself like a dark cloud, rumbling along with a heavy gait that translates exceptionally well into their live show. Each song brings an added element of momentous energy, collaborating into an album that transcends genres and stands very well on its own.
8.5 / 10
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