- Punk Rock
- First Effort
- Head Banging
Words by Alex Napoliello
Meet the newest addition to the LA-based punk label SideOneDummy Records: Title Fight. Hailing from Kingston, PA, Title Fight will fit right in with a roster that features punk rock powerhouses such as 7 Seconds, The Gaslight Anthem and Anti-Flag.
Produced by Gorilla Biscuits/Quicksand songwriter Walter Schreifels, SHED fuses a strong, hardcore backdrop with the melodic, raw emotion of post-hardcore punk rock. Compared to the likes of Lifetime and Jawbreaker, Title Fight finds a way to make an underground past time fresh and relevant.
Jamie Rhoden (guitar, vox) lays the foundation for SHED with the first track, “Coxton Yard,” shouting tales of youthful innocence (“Feeling like a bag of bones…shriveled up and cold…Nineteen years old”). The tales of rebellion continue on “Society,” as Rhoden makes his angst well-known singing “the disapproval’s all I need to keep my conscience clean.” An essential moment to every punk rock beginning, “You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You,” is an ode to the band’s roots, similar to The Gaslight Anthem’s “The Diamond Church Street Choir.”
The longest track on the album (2:40), “Crescent-Shaped Depression,” features multi-layered guitar licks book-ended by some subtle shredding. The tempo slows down a bit on “Safe In Your Skin” and “Where Am I?” before building up to the Hot Water Music-esque “27.” Title Fight concludes their SideOneDummy debut on a low note (in tempo, not energy) with the base-driven “GMT (Greenwich Mean Time),” providing a balance to the fast-pace of the earlier tracks.
The versatility displayed on SHED shows that in this day-and-age, a punk rock record doesn’t have to stay on a straight-and-narrow path; it doesn’t have to just be a fast hardcore record or consist strictly of monotonous power chords. As bassist Ned Russin puts it best, “The most important thing is this is a Title Fight record…we’re not trying to pose and be anything we’re not.”
© May 3, 2011
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