Boring sums up ‘A Productive Cough’ by Titus Andronicus

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Boring sums up ‘A Productive Cough’ by Titus Andronicus

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The rock band Titus Andronicus, led by Patrick Stickles, formed in New Jersey in 2005.

The band members started as a punk-rock band on their 2008 debut “The Airing of Grievances,” but by their 2015 album “The Most Lamentable Tragedy,” they had morphed into a rock band more along the lines of Bruce Springsteen and The Who.

“The Most Lamentable Tragedy” was a staggering 29 tracks and feature length.

The ponderous nature of the album was a detriment.

Titus Andronicus has come back this year with a much shorter project, “A Productive Cough,” released on March 2.

With only seven tracks, the band has taken a serious step back.

The opening track, “Number One (In New York),” takes influences from bar-rock. It is a slurred, sing-along piano song.

At eight minutes, though, the song begins to overstay its welcome.

“Real Talk,” the second song, seems to take its influences from New York rock. It has stinging guitar solos and a full horn section.

A major problem many people might have with the album is Stickles’ singing style.

His grunts and wails were perfect for the band’s more punk-oriented albums, but not when he is trying to sound like classic rock.

The third song, “Above the Bodega (Local Business)” is the best song on the album. It is both catchy and emotional.

“Crass Tattoo” features a female vocalist. The lyrics are about one of Stickles’ tattoos dedicated to the anarchist punk band Crass. The song is mostly unmoving.

Track six, “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone,” is a reworking of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” where he replaces the second person perspective with a first person one.

It is an interesting take on the song, but Stickles’ vocals don’t work very well with the instrumental.

“Home Alone” sounds like a bad Ozzy Osbourne B side.

The chorus of ,”Mommy’s not home–Daddy’s not home–Nobody’s home–I’m home alone” is repetitive and uncreative.

The closer, “Mass Transit Madness (Goin’ Loco’)” compares the hopelessness of depression with a train moving forward in the dark.

It is a slow song, but it doesn’t really lead to anything worthwhile. The song putters out toward the end.

I am honestly losing hope in Titus Andronicus. Their debut was a fiery and brutal punk album, and it was chock-full of memorable tracks. But the band has transformed completely.

The band’s career path reminds me of the rap artist Childish Gambino.

Both acts started in a genre, Titus with punk-rock and Gambino with rap, but weren’t afraid to mix in other genres like classic rock or soul. But now both acts have just started to try to recreate the sound of classic records they have nostalgia for.

I give “A Productive Cough” a five out of 10 stars. I consider it the worst album the band has put out yet.

Most of the songs are heavy-handed, spiritless, and, worst of all, boring.

Boring is a word I’d never thought I would have to use to describe Titus Andronicus.

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