As I’m typing this, there’s still a little over 2 full weeks until Floral Green will be officially released, but it’s no secret that this album has leaked.
And let me say, thank god it did.
I’m not going to lie; I’d been having doubts about the new record from the Kingston, PA legends that are Title Fight. I enjoyed the songs that had been released prior, like ‘Head in the Ceiling Fan’, immensely, but I still couldn’t help but have doubts as to how the rest of the album would go.
Needless to say, this album is a step in a new and arguably better direction for Title Fight. The kids who became attached to them from their early songs might not enjoy the record as much as those who enjoyed ‘Shed’. Floral Green trades in the power-chord-to-lead-riff songwriting style for more of an instrumentally intact song style. The technicality and flawlessness on this album cease to amaze me, compared to their almost sloppy playing on previous releases.
Perhaps the biggest change for this record is the vocal style. Ned Russin has taken a new approach to his singing. No longer is it a hardcore scream, it’s more of a hard-edged coo. It’s definitely something that takes some getting used to, but it’s different and good all in its own way. Jamie pretty much sounds the same on this album, but I was disappointed by how little he ended up actually singing on this.
TxF definitely changed their song conventions this time around, with their shortest song, ‘Calloused’, clocking in at 2:02. The highlights of the album, for me, are ‘Like a Ritual’, ‘Secret Society’, ‘Frown’, and ‘Lefty’. This isn’t to say that the other songs aren’t just as great, they’re just…different.
I fell in love with the hardcore vocals, fast-paced double-beat drums, and the somewhat sloppy guitar techniques that had been the foundations of TF, but now they’ve completely thrown that aside. Title Fight traded in their hardcore identity for something a little more contemporary and almost, dare I say it…grunge.
I AM NOT DEFINING THEM AS A ‘GRUNGE’ BAND WHATSOEVER.
I am nearly saying that this album holds a heaviness-to-melodic ratio seen in many past bands of the grunge movement. The new album is a little more experimental and soft, but this is nothing to take lightly. When the heaviness hits, it hits hard. The lyrical content of these songs champions back to a day when over-exaggerations and wordplay were used to create violent imagery in the listeners’ heads, much like that of early Saves the Day. “Head in the ceiling fan goes rolling and missing like bullets slamming into deer skin. And I bring a knife to your face, I’m blind. Follow footsteps, I’m bleeding, I’m blind. Head in the ceiling fan goes rolling and missing like bullets slamming into deer skin,” as the leading track off of Floral Green says.
I really enjoy the engineering done by Will Yip this time around, too. The quality and drum tones they achieved add a new layer of sound to their music – a depth, if you will. If you enjoy bands such as Balance and Composure, Joyce Manor, and – to an extent – Nirvana, you will more than likely go as crazy for Floral Green as I have. This album is a much more collective effort from the 4, small town edge hardcore kids from Kingston, and I believe this has the potential to make Title Fight a household name.
— Alex Boundy
Top Tracks: ‘Like a Ritual’, ‘In-between’, ‘Secret Society’
Make sure to go out and buy this album 9/18 in select stores or online!