In the last two years, Pennsylvania’s Title Fight have transformed themselves from a pop punk/hardcore band into an alternative/indie rock hardcore band. Though this may not sound like much of a change of pace, it most definitely is. The quartet’s newest full length, Floral Green, further progresses the sound experimented with on 2011’s Shed, and by no means is that a bad thing.
Floral Green is strange in that it inhabits a sense of déjà vu and unfamiliarity. Where it has the elements of the band’s previous releases, the album plays with a number of newer sounds and concepts, which ultimately broadens the band’s sound. As a result, the quartet presents some of their most melodic and ambient tracks, and juxtaposes them along with some of their most discordant ones.
Tracks like ”Make You Cry” manage a retooled familiarity; however, its lead in to “Sympathy” fails to truly work as harsh generic tonalities clash against one another. Though this arrangement is not always successful, it does work in some cases– particularly when it serves as a departure instead of a continuation.
Title Fight utilize alternative/indie roots to cultivate a broader sound; however, in doing this they never fail to return to familiar footings. But what’s interesting is their familiar footings don’t seem as familiar. Where previous elements of pop punk and hardcore are present, they are utilized much differently. In turn, many familiar qualities seem new.
It is here where Floral Green truly shines.
This reshaping of tone correlates with the album’s balancing of various genres. Tracks like “Secret Society” reappropriate familiar hardcore/pop punk stylings with 90’s grunge and noise rock before leading into the more ambient “Head in the Ceiling Fan.” This symbiosis between tracks, though not always achieved, is what makes Floral Green stand on its own.
Though the record plays quick, it is far from a light listen. The PA quartet has grown their sound both musically and lyrically. As a result, most of the tracks seem a bit heavier either through lyricism or instrumentation. The weight isn’t discouraging though. Instead the record feels more honest, with the occasional dabble in pretension.
Title Fight have put forth a solid record full of progression and growth in Floral Green. Though it often gets tangled in the pitfalls of self-indulgence, it is a serviceable whole. While it may not be a perfect record, you will definitely find yourself returning to a number of tracks; however, they might not be the ones you’d thought.