Album #53: Title Fight – Floral Green

  • Released: 2012
  • Origin: Kingston, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Label: SideOneDummy
  • Best Track: Numb But I Still Feel It

I’m not sure how I missed Title Fight and the three albums they released between 2011 and 2015. Described as everything from post-rock, to melodic hardcore, to shoegazing, they sound like an amalgamation of everything I’m into, and this particular record reached #2 in the US Billboard Vinyl Charts. I suppose it’s another example of my musical blind spot from the late ’00s to the early ’10s.

The band are technically still together but have been pretty inactive for the last five years. Floral Green was the second album of the trilogy, and I thought I’d investigate it after seeing a track from it posted in a Facebook group earlier this week.

The album has a hell of an opener in ‘Numb But I Still Feel It’. What I love about Jamie Rhoden’s voice is that even though he sounds like every word is wrecking his vocal chords, he still gives himself somewhere to go with it. It can always get louder and more strained.

The band remind me a lot of Hot Water Music, with the similar vocals and blend of punk that edges towards emo. ‘Secret Society’, in danger of getting slightly pedestrian at one point, suddenly comes to life with a change of pace. Two other highlights are the mid-album tracks ‘Sympathy’ and ‘Frown’, where unfulfilled feelings and frustration are conveyed with lyrics like “I never wanted sympathy/Just wanted to be something”.

Surprisingly, the tracks I enjoyed least are the ones that could be described as “shoegaze”. ‘Head in the Ceiling Fan’ is a bit of a dirge to me, while ‘Lefty’ sputters out without really getting going. They’re OK, but I’ve heard songs like that done better.

Nonetheless, this is a great album. I can’t decide whether I’m annoyed that it could have been in my life eight years earlier, or glad that I’m unearthing it now and still have two other Title Fight albums to look forward to.

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