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Local Business

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

While the first two albums were elaborate concoctions, Local Business is of the earth. Titus Andronicus the studious recording project and Titus Andronicus the raucous touring machine are no longer two distinct beings; there is only Titus Andronicus, rock and roll band. This is to say, it was recorded primarily live with precious few overdubs, with an elite squad of musicians.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • ASIN: B009369ZXA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,488 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
It's easy to like the idea of Titus Andronicus. What can you expect from a band named after a William Shakespeare dramatic play? Well, here's the recipe:

3 parts loud guitars
1 part existential angst
1 part patriotism
2 parts cerebral lyrics
1 part love for history
1 part silliness
3 parts do-it-yourself punk rock

Titus Andronicus is as educated as they are rocking -- where contemporary punks would sing about anarchy and nihilism, this band chugs out 14+ minute epics about the Civil War (as seen on their last album). The band doesn't try to follow up its previous album (THE MONITOR) by one-upping it though -- instead, LOCAL BUSINESS is a more rootsier, grittier affair. Many of these songs sound like they have been roadtested or written with the thought of live performance first and foremost. The album balances Patrick Stickle's fantastic lyrics with an energetic and almost out-of-control brand of punk rock. Many of the songs here turn on their head midway through ("In a Small Body", "My Eating Disorder"), but the band does best when it finds a groove and sticks with it. "(I am the) Electric Man" is a fun song, but it showcases what Titus Andronicus is without its sharp lyrics -- not much other than a few vague and playful feelings. The final track, "Tried to Quit Smoking" lands just shy of 10 minutes, and it doesn't really quite pick up until its final 3 minutes.

Here the thing: some of the impact from this album relies on the listener knowing what's going on with the band: "My Eating Disorder" feels playful, but it comes from a bizarre true account that renders the song pretty painful; "(I am the) Electric Man" was written in the emergency room after Patrick Stickles was electrocuted in an accident.
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Format: Audio CD
What can you possibly do to follow up on a masterpiece? This question must have invariably hovered over the group Titus Andronicus when they were faced with crafting another album following their epic, The Monitor. The Monitor fits the definition of a masterpiece so snugly that I wouldn't be surprised if lead singer Patrick Sickles and his gang had struggled with the above question for quite some time before deciding to go into the studio and write a straight up rock album.

Local Business, Andronicus's third album, sees the band trying to rein things back somewhat. Gone are the readings of Albert Camus or the overarching historical thematics. Instead, the band has replaced its prog-rock ambitions with a renewed focus on autobiography. Sickles's lyrics revolve almost exclusively around the life of a twenty-something as well as strictly personal issues like his struggles with a rare eating disorder. The result is decidedly scaled down. There's nothing inherently wrong with attempting to strip things down, but at times the old tricks Androncus could rely on for their older albums don't work quite as well in this setting. Their use of a continual refrain, which used to sound energetic, can now sound somewhat tired. Smaller interludes, which in earlier albums had served as a connective tissue for their grand themes, now sound like they're stalling for time.

The subject that Sickle returns to again and again is his own body. The body becomes a means for escape and something that he is trapped within. Sex and alcohol and their bodily impact serve as a means to flee existential questions, a means to escape from the oppressive life of the mind. And yet, at the same time, there is a sense that the body itself is also a trap.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Local Business, the third LP from Titus Andronicus, is quite a bit different from its predecessors. Whereas The Airing of Grievances and The Monitor were intense works that sounded as big as possible, Local Business is restrained. This should come as no surprise as it seemed the band was stuck at a point where it existed as two separate entities: Titus Andronicus the studio band and Titus Andronicus the live band. Here Stickles and crew have pulled back the expansiveness of their previous efforts in favor of a sound that is easier to reproduce in a live setting. The results are fantastic for the most part with songs such as In A Big City, Still Life With Hot Deuce on Silver Platter, and My Eating Disorder providing for plenty of energy and closest counterparts to their other albums. There are a few clunkers for sure (Food Fight and I Am the Electric Man come to mind), but for the most part the album flows well and improves with repeated listenings. The only huge complaint I can find is that the production is a bit muffled, and leaves the songs sounding muddy. Is it as good as either of the other two albums? The short answer is no, but by no means is Local Business a bad album, it is just a step in the evolution of a great band. OVERALL RATING = 7/10
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It may not grab you as quickly as "The Monitor" but the writing and music is very strong here. Though not a concept album, it's strung together by the stream of conscious lyrics that just fit into the fantastic riffs.
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The new Titus record is very good. Although I don't believe it reaches the heights of the ambitious "The Monitor", it is still a worth follow-up. The songs are catchy with much of that signature Titus Andronicus sound. Now I just need to catch these guys live!
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