From the muted, muffled acoustic melancholy of the opener "Fear And Loathing In Mahwah, NJ"—which erupts naturally into a fireworks display of bile and itchy impatience—Titus Andronicus' The Airing Of Grievances brooks no bullshit. The disc is the sound of lusty youth ripping a gaping hole in the fabric of reality: Throughout The Airing's nine sawed-off anthems, the Jersey collective comes off like a clunky, blood-knuckled Arcade Fire that just doesn't have time for all that respectable crap. Because, you know, the world is falling apart around their heads, and they only have this one shot at eating, fighting, and fucking the entire universe. The album is being reissued by the band's new label, XL—yes, the home of Vampire Weekend—soon, so expect The Airing to be much more visible throughout 2009. But don't let that overshadow the fact that, with its brash and boiling-over debut, Titus Andronicus has done its small part to draw indie-rock out of the genre's recent navel-obsessed slump.
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