Titus Andronicus has a pattern of following a massive event album with a smaller one that doesn’t quite scratch the same itch, and A Productive Cough is more focused than The Most Lamentable Tragedy. But even this band’s minor works are an undertaking, and with its 46-minute runtime spread across just seven songs-one of them a first-person reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone that runs a numbing nine minutes-there’s a burdensome heaviness to the record that belies what was presumably meant to be a cheerier, more inviting sound
A Productive Cough is Titus Andronicus’s 5th studio album, following up 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy. As stated in the press release put out by the band when they announced the album, the album is marked by a softer approach to song-writing, resulting in more ballads as cornerstones of the album, instead of being buried as the ballads in their other albums (see To Old Friends and New from their album The Monitor). Also premiering today at a-productive-cough. com is a thorough and wide-ranging interview with Patrick Stickles conducted by author/musician Ryan Walsh, offering further insight into the motivations and aspirations behind the new album and its place along the winding and circuitous path of [email protected]’s career.
Titus Andronicus is an American punk/indie rock band formed in Glen Rock, New Jersey in 2005. The band is composed of arist Patrick Stickles, guitarist Liam Betson, bassist . Gordon, and drummer Chris Wilson. The group takes its name from the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus, and has cited musical and stylistic influences such as Neutral Milk Hotel and Pulp.
Filmmaker and photographer Ray Concepcion’s A Productive Cough: The Documentary is the rare making-of-an-album featurette that catches the artist explaining why they made the album instead of simply sharing how it was made. The flick spends most of an hour alternating between fly-on-the-wall scenes from the recording sessions that produced the new Titus Andronicus album, A Productive Cough - which was conceived at Marcato Recording, a revamped barn outside New Paltz, New York - and ogling the breathtaking expanse of wooded nature preserves that rest within walking distance of the facility
A Productive Cough is not a bad album, but it’s not Titus Andronicus’ greatest moment. Part of the problem comes from the high expectations set by the band’s previous work, and to some degree the drawn out jam sections that occasionally go on just a little too long. Dig deeper into the lyrics however, and you’ll find an album that at times has considerable depths. Though there are a few strokes of genius on A Productive Cough, too often Titus Andronicus relies simply on the novelty of mimicking a bar band to sell the album.
When Titus Andronicus arrived in 2008 with The Airing of Grievances, they came fully formed. A Productive Cough isn’t a particularl. ood album. It’s fun – a collection of songs best left as b-sides. Stickles’ constant interruptions, tons of rough edges, and a near nine-minute riff on Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone allude to as much.
Titus Andronicus offer a refreshing antidote to formulaic chart music, doing their thang regardless of trends or the promise of popularity. A Productive Cough’ grows more interesting with every listen. Mac DeMarco - Here Comes The Cowboy. Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride. Marina - LOVE + FEAR.
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.
Stickles and Titus Andronicus draw a lot of inspiration from setting-Jersey throughout their oeuvre, Boston on The Monitor and now New York City on A Productive Cough. There are details here of life as a messed-up late ng that those of us who’ve been through that in a big city know: the half-camaraderie, half-antagonism developed with the corner store owner who sells Stickles booze and cigs ( Above the Bodega ) and the peculiar malaise of subways and buses ( Mass Transit Madness ). A Productive Cough is not a perfect album, or even necessarily one that will drive countless critics or fans to sing its praises. But there is a simultaneous urgency and feeling of defeat running through it, not unlike our contradictory contemporary atmosphere. You may be thrown by a loop for this record and wonder what exactly you’re listening to, but you won’t forget it any time soon.
|Number One (In New York)|
|Above The Bodega (Local Business)|
|Mass Transit Madness (Goin' Loco)|
|(I'm) Like A Rolling Stone - Part 1||3:28|
|(I'm) Like A Rolling Stone - Part 2||5:33|
|MRG606||Titus Andronicus||A Productive Cough (LP, Album, Blu + 7" + Ltd)||Merge Records||MRG606||US||2018|
|MRG606||Titus Andronicus||A Productive Cough (CD, Album)||Merge Records||MRG606||US||2018|
|MRG606||Titus Andronicus||A Productive Cough (CDr, Album, Promo)||Merge Records||MRG606||UK||2018|
|none||Titus Andronicus||A Productive Cough (CDr, Album, Promo)||Merge Records||none||US||2018|
|MRG606||Titus Andronicus||A Productive Cough (LP, Album)||Merge Records||MRG606||US||2018|