When it comes to the four albums released thus far by Title Fight, NPR did a great job of describing the group’s evolving sound: “A punk band keeps smearing its sound into something prettier.”
Starting with 2009’s compilation disc, The Last Thing You Forget through Hyperview, which came out this past February, there is a steady progression from Warped Tour cast-offs to My Bloody Valentine’s heir apparent.
That first disc, which is a mix of early singles and whatnot, lives up to its emo/hardcore label. Sounding like any number of bands touted by Alternative Press, there isn’t a great deal of substance here.
But with the release of their first studio album, Shed, in May 2011, Title Fight started to show signs of potential, growing heavier and “shedding” the pop-punk vibe. Particularly halfway through the disc on songs such as “Safe in Your Skin” and Where Am I?”
They didn’t take long to show their growth, when, in September 2012, they dropped Floral Green, a much heavier album with almost nary a sign of their pop-punk past.
Now, with Hyperview, the evolution appears complete for the Kingston, Pa., quartet. The disc opens with a very chill, shoegazey “Murder Your Memory” before launching into the mumbled, MBV-soaked “Chlorine”. That vibe continues on the more-decipherable “Hypernight”.
Those three songs, while solid in their own right, are like a preamble before things really take off, starting with “Mrahc”, the first track that seems single-worthy and sees everything starting to click. Then there’s “Your Pain is Mine Now”, which is arguably the most complete song on the album.
“Rose of Sharon” is another catchy tune that manages to differentiate itself from those preceding it. “Trace Me Onto You” feels like above-average filler, and it takes an interesting change of pace about halfway through the track.
“Liar’s Love” is a great example of the group’s sound and the other main contender for top song. It’s no wonder NPR picked it for its Austin 100 mix. It’s followed by “Dizzy”, which is an extra-slow tune that brings you back down to Earth before “New Vision” puts a little pep in your step and sends you on your way.
It’d be nice to think the group has found its sweet spot and will explore this sound for a while, but who knows with these guys.