Release Date: Apr 19, 2011
Record label: Ernest Jenning
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Power Pop
For Album Number Two, Title Tracks frontman John Davis (ex-Q and Not U) continues his love affairs with Class of ‘78 power pop—surely the press release accompanying the new In Blank is the first in ages to namecheck both Any Trouble and Stiff Records… and the first to back up that claim. In Blank bounds out of the gate with a fuzzy, buzzy blast of “Shaking Hands” and does not stop for the album’s 32-minute runtime. (Hell, all of Side A would’ve been welcome into the fold of Jake Riviera’s beloved Stiff.) A dark undercurrent runs through these fizzy songs, though: to wit, the pass-aggression of “Light Sleepers (“Somebody said you’re a fool to stand by me.
After recording almost every instrument himself on It Was Easy, Washington, DC's John Davis (former Q And Not U drummer and member of Georgie James) has enlisted collaborators Andrew Black and Michael Cotterman for In Blank, his second album as Title Tracks. While It Was Easy was clearly written by an accomplished, pop-smart musician, its gentle eclecticism and mild singer-songwriter indulgences made it feel a little too clean and calculated. With In Blank, Davis has tapped into something vital that even the best backing band can't automatically afford: confidence.
Title Tracks is a Washington, D.C- based act fronted by John Davis, former drummer of Q and Not U and former half of indie duo Georgie James. Whereas the first Title Tracks album, It Was Easy, was mostly Davis' solo effort, he's now added two backup musicians to buoy his brand of earnest alt-rock for the follow-up, In Blank. The album sweeps through a series of rapid-paced pop songs, including a cover of The Flamin' Groovies' "I Can't Hide," with bass and guitar and drums all crunching at full throttle.
As awesome as Q And Not U were, it’s easy to miss the Washington, D.C., post-hardcore specialists a lot less when listening to ex-drummer John Davis’ solo project, Title Tracks. With his second record under the moniker (he also made up half of indie duo Georgie James for a bit), Davis has come into riches of catchy melodies he decorates with harmonies recalling British tunesmiths like Elvis Costello, Squeeze and XTC. Judging by lyrical jabs like “You’ll see the ghost in me has no respect for where you’re standing,” Davis is also in tune with his predecessors’ gifts for masking anger within sweet, flowing vocals.