Titus Andronicus live at Death By Audio

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I’m pretty sure that Titus Andronicus is about to explode. Born out of the Glen Rock, New Jersey punk scene in 2005, they’ve solidified their lineup, honed their sound, and released a couple well-received 7”s on Shake Appeal Records and Troubleman Unlimited (they’ve also got a fantastic full-length on the way later this year). Titus’ genuinely epic folk-punk tunes, instantly memorable despite their lack of lyrical hooks, provide plenty of fodder for critics and fans alike.

However, the 5-piece is hard to pin down, and each song is only part of the picture. They’ve already been compared to everyone from The Thermals and The Pogues to The Arcade Fire and Brian Eno. So I thought the final show of their 2-week winter tour might provide some insight. In the process, I caught a surprising set by Screaming Females, a 3-piece from New Brunswick, New Jersey, who, together with Titus Andronicus, prove that New Jersey’s still got it (in case there was ever any question).

The Titus Andronicus homecoming show took place not in New Jersey but at Brooklyn’s Death By Audio, an all-ages art space in Williamsburg. Considering the neighborhood’s reputation for impenetrably hip art, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of a no-frills rock show as The So So Glo’s played a concise set of catchy, energetic, dub-inspired punk. The guitar work made me think of what The Strokes might sound like if they took their cues from The Clash (and maybe a bit of Op Ivy) instead of The Velvet Underground. The group’s frontman, adamant about getting the crowd excited and involved, demanded that we clap our hands and raise our fists, much like Funkmaster Flex warming the crowd for the Wu Tang Clan at the Hammerstein Ballroom the night before.
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