Continuing on with my top songs of the year, I move from the hip-hop/funk sounds in pt. 2 to the biting, bracing post-punk express train that speeds and careens through these two tunes.
Titus Andronicus – No Future Part IV
First up is Titus Andronicus. Never a band to express themselves subtly or covertly, TA’s MO is to blast straight forward and tell it like it is. This 90 minute, 3 album epic is a punk-rock opera. The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a 30 song story of mental illness, abuse, self-destruction, redemption and a whole lot of other big themes, without ever seeming heavy-handed.
The Bruce Springsteen comparisons are apt (less so on this song), but for me, the other big influence is London Calling-era Clash. This influence is more musical than thematic, TA’s album is more personal less political than London Calling, but has a similar immediacy and musical ambition.
Basically, just get the album and call in sick to work. Play it on vinyl and stomp around your living room in your feety-pajamas and rock out. This is how music is meant to be heard.
Shopping – Wind Up
I really don’t know much about Shopping. Other than I prefer to do it online. Snare-snare-crash! Too many people in the brick and mortar stores! Long lines and parking lots and holiday music and NO THANK YOU!
I do know that Shopping is a British art-punk trio that sounds like they stepped out of 1980’s London with their angular guitars and haircuts. The first time I heard this song “Wind Up” I thought it was an outtake from Gang of Four or some obscure 80’s band I missed at the time. I love the interplay of the drums and guitar in this song (and the bass too, really). You can hear all 3 parts distinctly, how they weave around each other and at the same time, but up against each other.
The rest of their 2015 album, Why Choose, does not match the ferocity of this song, unfortunately, but that’s why I am listing best songs, not best albums….that will be a later post.