As much as I love the new album by The National, it’s not really a suitable “summer album”, it’s more of something you listen to during the autumn and winter months. So instead the album that’s been my go-to album for the summer so far has been Titus Andronicus’s ragged rock n’ roll opus, The Monitor.
You could certainly label The Monitor as a “concept album” in a sense, as much of it uses the American Civil War as a unifying thematic device. The album is peppered with spoken quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis in a Ken Burns-y kind of way, and it’s kind of odd how well these speeches work in the context of the album. The lyrical content of the album isn’t even really about the Civil War, most of the songs are youthful anthems about growing up in New Jersey, but somehow it all works.
Musically, the album draws a lot more from the raw energy of punk than you’d find in most indie music nowadays, and I’m always open to an indie band that dares to rock. In fact, the first time I heard this album I was completely floored by how much this band rocks the fuck out of the first three tracks. And after that, they manage to find a nice middle ground with songs that have a sprawling, almost Springsteen-ian approach to them that are filled with that great punk rock spirit.
In Sean’s earlier post he stated that he’s finding it harder and harder to define what kind of music he likes. For me, it seems that I try to be open to different genres, but all I really want at the end of the day is a great rock n’ roll record, and Titus Andronicus pretty much offers all I could ask for with The Monitor.
Favorite Tracks: “A More Perfect Union”, “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future”, “Theme From “Cheers””