Release Date: Mar 2, 2018
Record label: Merge
Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles may have all the makings of a true-bred DIY punk, but he's always been a classic rocker at heart. On the band's fifth album, A Productive Cough, Stickles has done away with all the stylistic trappings that buoyed the group's grassroots rise out of New York dive bars: the mangy guitars, the screaming, the pummeling tempos, and the Seinfeld references. What's left is a clear and potent distillation of Stickles's classic-rock influences filtered through the iconoclastic lens of a guy who hasn't forgotten where he came from.
Now that they've got a concept album about the Civil War and a rock opera about depression under their belts, New Jersey punk heroes Titus Andronicus are back with...a single-disc, seven-track album of straight rock 'n' roll. A Productive Cough sees Patrick Stickles giving in to his ever-present classic rock soul. Sounding like a cross between The Rolling Stones and early Springsteen, Titus once again knock it out of the park with a rousing, passionate collection of rock anthems.
Patrick Stickles' name is unlikely to grace a list of America's most accessible songwriters. The Titus Andronicus frontman specializes in intricate indie punk screeds that dwell on alienation, mental illness and the absurdity of existence. The fullest expression of this ethos was their fourth album, a five-act rock opera about bipolar disorder that referenced everything from Emma Lazarus sonnets to Seinfeld catchphrases.