11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
After 2010’s epic The Monitor, I was unsure of where Titus Andronicus would go next. The Civil War-themed epic rewrote the rules for punk, but the new songs they debuted at shows didn’t sound like pieces of another concept album.
Instead, on their third album, the New Jersey punks kept things simpler — conceptually, at least. The first single, “In a Big City,” is one of their most straight-forward songs ever, but it still packs a punch. “Food Fight!” is even simpler. Its only lyrics are “Food fight!,” but musically it’s one of their most adventurous, with piano and wailing harmonica that sound more like the Rolling Stones than punk.
Titus Andronicus aren’t abandoning everything they established on their last album. There are still a couple massive tracks (“My Eating Disorder” clocks in at eight minutes and “Tried to Quit Smoking” is almost 10), and even the shorter epics like “Still Life with Hot Deuce on Silver Platter” have song-within-a-song shifts and tempo changes.
Local Business is the perfect follow up to The Monitor because it’s not trying to follow it. Another concept album would’ve seemed forced, but instead, Titus Andronicus just focus on rocking.