Titus Andronicus: The Monitor

The MonitorI can’t stop listening to this album. Easily the best album of 2010 so far. It brings to mind the unbridled energy and fury of early Replacements fun that was somehow serious at the same time. Mix in the prog adventures of early Trail of Dead and, of course, a liberal dash of homestate hero Bruce Springsteen (and his offspring like The Hold Steady and fellow Jerseyites,The Gaslight Anthem and The Wrens) and you have the inferiority complex that accompanies all Garden Staters (Bon Jovi excluded) mixed with a loose rock and roll concept album based around the Civil War. Oddball spoken quotes from the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Adams with songs broken into chapters and repetitious group choruses make the album at times seem like a highfalutin drunken brawl. Going against the punk grain, there are several eight and a half minute songs and one topping out at fourteen! But the songs shift and snake and breakdown and the lead singer’s kind of singing, billy goat moan brings what should be a mess of an album into ultimate clarity. And this is why I can’t stop listening to this thing–every spin brings something new and unnoticed and crushes all the stuff I thought was good since I first heard Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash.