Giving Title Fight’s newest album, Hyperview, a spin on your turntable will be the calmest decision you will make all day. As soon as that needle hits the grooves, you’ll lose yourself in a state of dreamy bliss.
Title Fight released Hyperview, the Pennsylvania punk band’s fourth full-length album through ANTI-, on Feb. 3. The album offers listeners more of a laid-back, psychedelic sound, rather than the fast-paced punk rock anthems familiar to Title Fight fans. Expect to hear their sound deviate more than slightly from their familiar punk rock profile.
Hyperview will test the lengths Title Fight’s loyal fans will be comfortable with, but their new direction isn’t anything listeners didn’t expect. The familiar songwriting and clanging guitar sounds on the album ties the group close enough to the classic feel their fans know and love.
The album’s title, Hyperview, implies more than the music ever reaches. The hymnal first track, “Murder Your Memory,” creeps in lazily and finally lands at a tone far away from how Title Fight usually begins a song —calmly. As it fades out into “Chlorine,” — Hyperview’s inaugural single released last December — old Title Fight starts to poke through. The bit of energy from “Chlorine” leaks over to the bass filled beginning of the third track “Hypernight,” which gives listeners a strong pulse throughout the entire song, breathing some much needed life into the album.
Hyperview’s sixth track and second single, “Rose of Sharon,” begins with a revolving guitar flange and resumes into a burst of the Wilkes-Barre natives’ nostalgic sound. Older fans will cling to these songs, as they are fast-paced and ready to go.
Looking back at Title Fight’s 2012 release Floral Green, its second track,“Like A Ritual,” sounds as if the band was trying to give listeners a taste of what to expect in their new release. The fluid chord progressions mark the layout of Hyperview’s guitar tones, and are almost identical to its fourth track “Mrahc.”
The only inconsistent musical element in Hyperview is the vocals. The lazy style is obvious to the ear, and vocalists Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin are difficult to understand at times.
To dissect the band’s new groove even more, Hyperview will remind listeners of the indie rock band Creepoid’s album Horse Heaven – a synth driven, psychedelic collection of songs that uses a tasteful mix of acoustic and electric guitar tones to move it along. Title Fight also seems to embody the rolling, rock-beat style of American punk band Citizen, by incorporating a second layer of hard vocals behind the melody – something Title Fight has always toyed with in their releases. In retrospect, these elements have been recycled throughout the genre as it evolves.
Overall, Hyperview is a difficult album to understand, but it’s certainly easy to feel. Title Fight has spent years building a reputation and iconic sound for their audience but more notably for themselves. Hyperview’s unfamiliar sound won’t be a bump in the road for Title Fight, and the album’s sound isn’t anything fans didn’t expect.