There are small town punk scenes all over the country, each with their varying subtle influences and nuances. The Wilkes-Barre / Kingston Pennsylvania punk scene has always been a solid blend of hardcore and pop punk from the bigger acts that play the area and the local bands who grew up listening to those bands.
Kingston Pennsylvania’s Title Fight is one of those bands who grew up in that scene and melded those influences to develop a powerful and unique sound. Title Fight has built up a great reputation as one of the most exciting hardcore bands around today, so much so, that Shed was produced by Gorilla Biscuits/Quicksand guitarist Walter Schreifels.
Shed was released in May and if you haven’t picked it up yet you are missing out. The most important element of Title Fight’s new album Shed and really the most important element of Title Fight as a band, is that they play every song, every chord, every note with all they have in them. This album has every key element of fabulous melodic hardcore, from the scratchy vocals, to the screamo sections, to breakdowns, to heavy beats, to the slightest hint of a catchy melody, to raw passion. The power of the album, is not only in the inclusion of all these elements, it is in the fact that they are organic to each song, making it pure melodic hardcore awesomeness.
Track 1, Coxton Yard, starts the album off with hoarse vocals reminiscent of Avail, and just as much power. Society has the dissident and rebellion needed for every great punk album, “Disapproval’s all I need to keep my conscience clean”. Yet they embrace the city and the community where they came from and belong to. The album cover picture local landmarks and song titles reference their hometown, You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You and local history Flood of ’72.
There are a few some songs on the album that stray a bit away from the traditional idea of hardcore. Track 7, Safe In Your Skin, is kind of trippy with slow lilting music and raspy vocals. It stands out from the other tracks while also offering a depth to the record. The stand out track on the album is 27. In this track, powerful music and lyrics come together with heartfelt vocals that pull the listener into this emotional experience while also providing the climax of the album.
The energy that is contained on this recording will be magnified tenfold in the pit. Go check these guys out if you can. The band has left for their overseas tour (and have a few east coast dates) but be sure to catch them when they return.