It's quite impressive how Titus Andronicus is capable of packing an entire adolescence into forty-five minutes. With a steady punk drive and front man Patrick Stickles' unwavering and often critical wailing, Local Business is a well-formed reflection on one's self, and how coming down from any high can be just as shaky as a bad trip.
Resilient from the start, it's quickly formulated that there's no room for friendly introductions. "Okay, I think by now we've established/Everything is inherently worthless. An angst-driven pressure lays the foundation for Stickles to tackle every problem faced when growing into your own skin. Eating disorders, the habitually criticized hipster culture, and the loss of sanity to a harsh world are all questioned, and Stickles is itching to place blame on anyone for the way he turned out. However, as the album progresses, the bitterness is over turned by a self-awareness that can only come with constantly failing at life. "Kissing the toilet seat/does this make me an animal? When your heart rate normalizes and your eyes regain focus, there's no one to point the finger at, but yourself.
Stickles spends the latter half of the album in a state of dull repentance. With the pace of a waltz, "In A Small Body" feels like an early morning crawl out of your favorite local bar. Everything afterwards is a chance at refinement. 60s grooves and harmonica solos litter the remains of the record as the storm of self-loathing clears and a not as tormented figure emerges. With no grand finale, but a slow and withering end, Local Business isn't out to make a show of itself or be a public service announcement for distraught youth. It is merely a man's tale of making it to the other side of minority, and realizing that there's still so much more ground to cover.
Watch Titus Andronicus live at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Baeblemusic: