Artist: Titus Andronicus
Album: The Will to Live
Label: Merge Records
Release Date: 30/09/2022
Location: Glen Rock, New Jersey
Anyone who says rock is dead clearly hasn’t listened to The Will to Live, because I am happy to report that Titus Andronicus are very much keeping it alive and well on their latest album.
While there have always been some classic rock influences to Titus Andronicus’ music, these elements have become far more prominent with this latest release. The band’s more prominent punk/folk-punk elements have taken a back seat for this one, apart from tracks such as Dead Meat (which by the way is an absolute banger).
Particular influence has clearly been taken from Meatloaf’s music, with some songs making this inspiration blatantly obvious, particularly in the first half of the album. Personally, I absolutely love these influences. As a huge Meatloaf fan (RIP) and a huge Titus fan, this was the crossover that I had always wanted but never thought to ask for. At first, I was slightly taken aback when hearing it, I almost did a double take and said to myself “wait, could it be? Is this what I think it is?” and lo and behold, it in fact was.
It isn’t just the musical influence of Meatloaf that has been harnessed here, it’s his captivating storytelling ability. He possessed a song writing skill that allowed the listener to feel present as they listened to his music, as if they were the protagonist in each track’s unfolding story. This album has that same immersive feeling to it, where you feel invested in the subject matter of the songs. When you couple this with the band’s ability to write incredibly catchy music, it becomes a deadly combination. I feel as if I need to clarify just how catchy this album actually is, because I’m not doing it justice. Almost every song on the album is at risk of being stuck in my head at present and I think I’ve listened to the full release at least 6, maybe 7 times in total already.
While the first half of the album is a truly enjoyable listen, it’s the mid-section of the album that really makes this a must listen. Tracks 6 through 8 are all perfect songs, just one after another. Dead Meat is a punk infused banger that is easily highest energy track on the album and will have you playing it on repeat for days. An Anomaly is possibly my favourite song on the album and has been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it. The song isn’t just well written and catchy but also has my favourite lyrics on the album. Give Me Grief is another incredibly catchy track with a fantastic chorus that will also have the track stuck in your head. Of the first part of the album (Im) Screwed is my favourite of the Meatloaf heavy tracks. It features some fantastic harmonies, killer riffs, excellent lyrics and a real classic rock energy to it.
Overall, this is a very different direction for the band but I personally love it. I think that they pull off this sound expertly and I hope that they come back to it again on another release if this isn’t their new overall direction. If you’re a fan of classic rock but with a unique edge to it then this is an album you cannot miss.
Listen to and order the album: