Rock n roll with gruff punk vocals and brilliant, absurd, self-indulgently introspective songwriting. In contrast to 2010's all-hands-on-deck effort for The Monitor, Titus are a tight-knit 5-piece studio band here, and it works shockingly well. High-concept and scatological, uncomfortably earnest and evasively goofy, so overblown that it crosses out of and firmly back into meaningfulness, this record was (for me at least) a much-needed affirmation that indie rock hasn't totally divorced itself from punk's sound/substance and can turn its own weird relationship with sincerity toward a powerful end. RIYL The Hold Steady. Start with 3 if you're new to them. FCCs on 1, 2, 7, 8, 10. —Andy
*1 - (5:11) FCC shit; sharp, upbeat rock with eyebrow-raising nihilist lyrics
**2 - (5:30) FCC shit; Hold Steady-style classic/indie rock; true to its title, a loud meeting of high-concept commentary and punk shit-slinging
**3 - (3:27) driving, fast-paced punk rock
*4 - (1:09) light-hearted rockout prelude to the album's most serious song; ripping guitar and harmonica; only lyrics are group shouts of "food fight!"
*5 - (8:13) intro with 4 if you can; multi-part punk/bar-rock hair-pulling operetta
6 - (2:10) full-throttle angry rock, repeated "I'm going insane"
*7 - (3:36) FCC-indecent language; midtempo but energetic Springsteen rock
8 - (6:12) FCC fuck; also heavily Springsteen, aggressive but contemplative, with quiet stretch in middle
*9 - (4:15) goofy; grooving studio rock with lyrics that were written on twitter en route to the hospital following a microphone-induced electrocution
10 - (9:45) FCC fuckin; slow, repetitive, unapologetically angsty and self-flagellating; determined, ecstatic rock in closing stretch