Title Fight discover top form on Hyperview

Title Fight trades their hardcore punk riffs for dreamy, shoegaze inspired tones.



Christian Davis, Writer

The one rule that I made for myself before reviewing the new Title Fight album was to not use the words “shoegaze,” “revival,” or “dream-like.” I have to be honest here, that ended up way trickier than I expected. It is not like “Hyperview” makes my job any easier though. With song titles like “Dizzy” and “Your Pain is Mine Now,” and a guitar tone that is reminiscent of bands like Ride, the Pennsylvania quartet pulled out all the stops with the early 90’s shoegaze. There it is, I broke my own rule.

But that is too easy, is it not? It is such a cop out to focus on the woozy direction Title Fight’s taken, because the record has so much more to offer. In a way, to focus only on the record’s sonic departure from Title Fight’s previous work detracts from what makes it so great. In and of its own right, “Hyperview” makes for a rewarding, layered indie rock album. It does not have to be a great shoegaze album from a band that totally used to be hardcore punk but then dabbled in emo but then were post-hardcore but are not really DIY anymore. To genre-snob is to limit. And it is also annoying. But that is another conversation.


“Hyperview” lulls you in with “Murder Your Memory,” a slow-burner that lays down the flanger-foundation for the rest of the album, but in sound only. The pace kicks up on “Chlorine,” lead single and obvious standout. The track works in the aggression Title Fight’s been founded in this entire time, while working with chorusey guitar leads perfectly woven throughout the chord structure.

This brings up another thing. These leads are fantastic. “Your Pain is Now” toys with the minimalism of early post-punk, and the best kind at that. Punk has always had a “less is more” mentality, so I suppose it makes sense that Title Fight can evoke such an emotional response with uncluttered, beautifully composed lead riffs. That chorus line alone is a testament to this record’s replayability.

The comparisons this record brings to mind trip me up. It is unsurprising that “Hyperview” calls to mind Loveless and Ride’s debut. But to hear a Title Fight record in 2015 that makes me think of Real Estate, and the current Captured Tracks roster, while coming off the heels of their last ferocious EP, Spring Songs? It is no doubt a pleasant surprise. Title Fight’s status as a DIY punk band will surely be questioned due to the shoegaze sounds of this album. Just like when listeners questioned Deafheaven’s status as a black metal band with the release of the beautiful “Sunbather.” But it really does not matter. Just turn on “Hyperview” and let the perfectly orchestrated noise do the rest.


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