Published Jan 30, 2015Over the years, Title Fight have proven themselves to be a particularly versatile band. Their 2013 EP Spring Songs showcased their ability to incorporate more emotive, downtempo and melodic songs into their typically fast and abrasive repertoire. With Hyperview, the band have settled on a sound closer to those songs, drawing influence in regards to style and song structure from bands like My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr.
To longtime listeners, this sound might be jarring at first. Its lack of overt aggression marks a significant change in style, but it's one that ultimately suits the band. Many of the songs feature dream pop and shoegaze influences, and all share the same type of ethereal, hazy production, using copious amounts of reverb and delay to give riffs a cavernous and airy presence. Glassy, twang-y lead guitars, in combination with muted and melancholic singing, showcase Title Fight's melodic prowess on this record, while songs like "Murder Your Memory," "Your Pain Is Mine Now" and "Dizzy" are slower paced, more expressive and dreamy than previous material. The bright upbeat punk riffs and driving rhythms characteristic of the band's older material are not necessarily lost on this album; this energy can still be found on the more lively songs like "Mrahc" and "Trace Me Onto You."
Beautifully harmonized choruses and melodic hooks are found throughout the album, as Ned Russin and Jamie Rhoden, who share vocal duties, both take a softer tone, forgoing the half-screams and strained shouts found on previous albums. The only track on which Russin returns to his familiar belt is "Rose of Sharon," and even then the vocals are pushed back in the mix and diluted with heavy reverb effects.
The heavily distorted, fuzzy wall of sound from previous albums has been replaced by lead guitar jangle here, but while that may seem off-putting to fans who are accustomed to the relentless punk bludgeoning of their previous material, at its core the songwriting is solid, and familiar enough for old fans to learn to love. (Anti)