So, you thought that the music industry’s affluence of privileged teen acts with their chugga-chugga guitars and bawling peach-fuzzed vocalists had gone the way of Warped? Enter Title Fight, the featherweight scrappers from Kingston, Pa. They’ve never met a record label they didn’t like, and have never had a relationship that ended on a pleasant note. Accustomed to rubbing elbows with the likes of New Found Glory, brothers Ben and Ned Russin (on drums and bass respectively) have brought their brattish hi-jinx to side acts such as Bad Seed, Cold World and Disengage. But it is with Title Fight that their semi-righteous emo indignation reaches its pinnacle and subsequent breaking point.
Whipping it out early, the feisty quartet strikes an impressive pose on the swirling melodic howler “Coxton Yard.” Remarkably, this is indeed the group’s debut LP, although it has been around since 2003. Given that they’ve had eight years to polish their brittle hardly core veneer to a mirror-like shine, the friends have little trouble manoeuvring around parental disapproval on “Society,” and feel more than comfortable muddying their new Sketchers in a “Crescent Shaped Depression.” Elsewhere, the title track delves into the heartfelt wounds that choke up lead singer/guitarist Jamie Rhoden’s shredded vocal chords. The gist of things seems to be that, despite appearances, you are not necessarily “Safe in Your Skin” and to “Shed” one’s outer facade is to be made new again; this longing for a return to innocence is most keenly felt on the torrential “Flood of ’72” which originally surfaced in April as an acoustic 7-inch. Insurrectionist punk rock and hardcore of this ilk, but of a much better quality, is readily available via the roster of Calgary’s own Meter Records.