New Jersey punk outfit, Titus Andronicus, couldn’t have come from anywhere else. The West coast is churning out its fair share of skate and stoner bands, while the majority of the East still dabbles in stylish post-punk. The constantly climaxing sound of Patrick Stickles’ growl, mixed with the loud Clash-like guitars, gives nods to Jersey’s personal god, The Boss. Local Business is an appropriately named record, with its blue-collar sound pumping up the working masses.
“Ecce Homo” opens the album, much like The Monitor, with two alternating guitar chords, which makes the track sound like it’s building up to something, but ultimately (and most likely) just fluffs up the rest of the album.
“Still Life With Hot Deuce On Silver Platter” is a punk-prog endeavor, with verses that seem to go on forever in various forms. Of course, Patrick’s got a lot to say, and not everyone enjoys the 1-minute punk song, so like Fucked Up, Titus Andronicus strives for lengthy punk narratives. Speaking of one-minute punk songs, “Food Fight,” is literally just that, with the only lyrics being a gang-vocal yelling of the title. With a Saved By the Bell-esque guitar solo, “Food Fight” is by far the most fun track on the record.
The rest of the album plays out more or less the same as its first two tracks. Stickles’ voice doesn’t exactly hold up long enough to provide any seperate meaning until you hit “In a Small Body,” where his sing-screaming provides a little extra viscera to everything. Local Business shows little growth from Titus Andronicus’ past releases, but doesn’t really hurt their sound in the long run. Sticking to what you know can only get you so far in terms of creativity.