You really don’t need much more than a couple of power chords to deliver a pure rock ‘n’ roll message. To me, less is more if you do it the right way. It’s all about nerve and feeling.
A funny thing about An Obelisk, the sixth full length from Titus Andronicus, is that it sounds like a clash between ’70s and ’90s punk, made just for 2019. Maybe it’s because that this album was produced by punk legend Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü). Taking a rest from the lofty concept albums they’ve made their mark with, the sound of this album is refreshingly straight up, fast and chock full of nice guitar licks and solos.
Songs like “Just Like Ringing a Bell,” “Trouble Man Unlimited,” “I Blame Society” and “On The Street” are strong as nails. Nothing new here, just plain good tunes that comes packed with power, drive and a political agenda. Unfortunately they just never reach the height of those iconic punk songs that just get stuck in your head.
There’s also something that really annoys me about songs like “My Body and Me” and “Hey Ma,” where Titus us tries to do the blues with bagpipes. It feels like I’m listening to a punk album from 1997, and not in a good way.
As basic as the formula is, it’s freaking hard to deliver a solid and pure punk album. Titus tries really hard to do that, maybe just a little too hard.