Titus Andronicus: A Productive Cough [Album Review]

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Titus Andronicus
A Productive Cough
Merge Records [2018]


Who: A continually evolving band from New Jersey that is on their fifth full length.

Sound: Known for their early indie punk rock, Titus Andronicus keep changing their game as A Productive Cough offers a more Bruce Springsteen meets Lucero that time warps back to 70’s Stones type of rock n roll.

TFN Final Take: With some bands you expect them to push their own boundaries with every release. Titus Andronicus is definitely one of those artists and on A Productive Cough the band comes at you with a laid-back rock n roll approach. The album finds the founder and leader of the group, Patrick Stickles, surrounding himself with twenty plus musicians that includes cello, horns and keyboards. Many of the tracks have big mass sing along vocals and it really is no surprise that A Productive Cough also includes a nine-minute riff, sort of tribute, cover of Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” titled “(I’m) Like A Rolling Stone.” Too long? Probably, but that is the free wheelin’ vibe that is found on A Productive Cough.

What I will say about this record is that with more listens, the big loud bar band sound that Titus Andronicus hits you with starts to sink in. I enjoyed the sing out moments on “Real Talk” and the foot stomping romp of “Home Alone.” Passing the 46-minute mark with only 7 songs is still a commitment and A Productive Cough could have used a touch more refinement because I believe with that tweak this would have been closer to a top release of the year. Regardless, A Productive Cough is another chapter of the Titus Andronicus story that showcases their constant movement. If you are an early fan and can’t get with this direction don’t worry too much because you never know what is around the corner with this band! If you truly give this album the right amount of time – I think you will be joining the chorus very soon!

Titus Andronicus Website
Titus Andronicus Facebook
Merge Records

-Reviewed by Thomas Wilde

Thomas Wilde

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