Over a decade into their existence, New Jersey indie punks Titus Andronicus have cemented their status as one of the hardest working, most interesting bands in the underground scene through years of nonstop touring and albums that constantly improve, evolve, and push boundaries. Fans of ambitious concepts and clearly willing to put painstaking effort into crafting compelling, different releases each time, the band showcased their ability to distill their essence into the straightforward, aggressive, and fine-tuned third full-length Local Business in 2012, inarguably the LP that brought them broader critical and commercial attention. For their highly-anticipated followup and fourth album, 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy, Titus tackled an even more ambitious project, composing a five-act, 90 minute concept album framed as a rock opera. And with last year’s followup fifth album A Productive Cough, the band largely eschewed their punk beginnings for a more heartland rock infused, and mellow, indie effort.
For their latest LP, this year’s An Obelisk, the band recruited legendary rocker Bob Mould to produce, resulting in a tighter, shorter, more paired down record that feel like yet another excellent change in direction. A thinking man’s punk and indie band, the group have always been a reflection of founder and frontman Patrick Stickles’ state of mind; at their start, they were closure for his teens, Tragedy marked a bookend on the talented rocker’s 20s, and Obeliskfeels like a mature, existential effort of a 30-something former punk still contemplating his roots but feeling confident enough not to bury his art in conceptual pomp. Their live experience is equal parts meticulous recreation and unhinged energy, and as Stickles and the band get older, so too does their sonic and thematic journey and musical exploration. No strangers to Nashville, their return to town tonight, Nov. 2 to play perfectly suited DIY spot Drkmttr with Canadian kindred spirts Partner is still one of your best bets all November; get tickets here or at the door!
Titus Andronicus and Partner will perform tonight, Nov. 2 at Drkmttr. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) and tickets are available to purchase for $15-18.