Title Fight – Floral Green
Record Label: SideOneDummy Records
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Kingston, PA pop-punk band Title Fight is a band I’ve known about for a long time. They were in the one of the first issues of Alternative Press Magazines I ever got, which was about five years ago. At that time, I was not into pop-punk music at all, and knew nothing about it. However, my tastes have changed, and Title Fight is one of the newfound kings of pop-punk, essentially. If they didn’t deserve that title then, they sure as heck do now, with the release of Floral Green, the band’s second full-length record. The band released the track “Head In the Ceiling Fan” earlier this summer, and when I first heard it, it was completely different from last album Shed, which is what got me into them in the first place. However, while it is different, it’s still mind-blowingly fantastic. They took their sound, and added more to it. That’s always a good thing for a band.
The record starts off with “Numb, But I Still Feel It,” and it’s pretty clear that Title Fight are slightly different this time around. Vocalist Jamie Rhoden’s signature scream, or even a yelp, makes its return as well. That’s something that has not changed from their last record. His vocals are something I really like about this CD, because they’re quite distinct, but still fantastic. You can easily hear the emotion within his voice as he shouts every word. The only problem with this song, and with the album I really have, is how fast it ends. It’s about 33 minutes, but it feels so much shorter than that. It’s also quite clear that while listening to this, there are a lot of 90s alternative influences on here. At times, they remind me of a heavier Jawbreaker, which is a good thing, because that band is absolutely fantastic as well.
As I listen to this record, every song is a highlight. This doesn’t happen very often, because most albums only have a handful of tracks that rise above the rest, but every song on this record is a genuine highlight. Normally, the first few tracks really can make or break a record, but in this record, every track works very well, and it’s almost a metaphorical barrage of punches, because each track does pack quite a punch. There’s a great mix between 90s alternative, hardcore, and pop-punk, to a degree. Fourth track “Secret Society” is the second single they released from the album, and it’s one of my favorite tracks on here. It certainly does show the best of Title Fight, even if the accompanying music video was rather odd. Like I said, this song really does show the best of Title Fight. Next track “Head In the Ceiling Fan” is the first song they released as a free download a few months back, and it was an interesting first choice. This song really serves as an interlude, and this is where their different sound comes into play. Because it’s a more ambient track with a shoegaze influence. Surprisingly, this track really works, and it’s very enjoyable. It doesn’t hinder the record at all; in fact, it provides a very nice contrast, because immediately, next track, “Make You Cry” picks it right back up. In the middle, however, there’s an interesting little shoegaze guitar riff by guitarists Rhoden, and Shane Moran. This is definitely one track where the 90s alternative influences show up.
Before I continue with the review, one of my favorite things about this CD is how it has a lot of different sounds in it, but they all compliment one another. They don’t become too much at any point. It’s almost as if Title Fight have blended pop-punk, hardcore, and 90s alternative to make a near perfect record. I would go as far as to say this is one of the best records of the year. They kind of took everyone by surprise by suddenly announcing they were releasing a new record a few months back, and they did not disappoint.
As for the rest of the record, it’s absolutely wonderful; there’s not too much I can say about it, really, because it does tend to sound quite similar after awhile. This is the same problem that the new Such Gold record had for me. It was really awesome, but after awhile, it tended to blend together. If anything, this is the only problem I have with it. That, and as I mentioned earlier, how short it feels. While that is the case, the last two songs “Lefty” and “In-Between” show a much slower side to Title Fight. This isn’t bad, because these songs are great, and they close out the album nicely. Overall, however, there’s really nothing wrong with this CD; Title Fight is a band that’s obviously doing everything right. They’ve expanded their sound, but still remain very relevant within their respective genre, if you can even figure it out.