Growth in music is an interesting thing, and nobody has portrayed that better than Pennsylvania’s own Title Fight. The band started as raucous punk rockers playing powerchords at breakneck speeds and singing the woes of high school heartbreak. It did not take long for them to take over the scene and eventually garner the attention of critics. In the last five years they have shed their skin multiple times over four excellent records, consistently writing great music and being forerunners of the genre. Hyperview is the pinnacle of Title Fight’s well-established career and perhaps one of the biggest departures of sound a band has made in recent memory. They traded their distortion for flange, slowed down their tempos (though not entirely), and made an album that is a hazy, drifting, and dreamlike. It retains just a hint of their signature ferocity while flirting with ideas of shoegaze and ‘90s style post-punk, and really challenges the ideas of what punk is and is not (as if it really matters).
While Hyperview may not be immediately likeable, after multiple listens the puzzle pieces start to fall in place. It’s not instantly accessible, but eventually it becomes charming and even ingenious, the way the augmented chords are tied together by the rolling basslines with a nice drumbeat that is present but never overpowering. Ned Russin, bassist/vocalist, has taken a much more laid-back vocal approach that is much lighter and dreamy than his previously nasal endeavors. At times he sounds like Morrissey, but tracks like “Rose of Sharon” let him come off the leash and return to form for a few moments. Clocking in around 30 minutes, it definitely knows when to bow out before becoming too lengthy and leaves the listener with a very positive impression. Title Fight showed up strong in 2015, and they didn’t just come to play the game – they came to change it.
By: Andrew Shores