Title Fight – Hyperview Review

by Zach McCollum, Staff Writer

This is a journalistic review of Title Fight’s third full length LP Hyperview.

Title Fight is an American rock band hailing from Kingston, Pennsylvania. The band has gone through many changes between now and when it released its debut EP, The Last Thing You Forget, which dropped in 2009.

“Hyperview” Copyright 2015 ANTI- Records

At the release of this first EP, Title Fight was a heavy, in-your-face melodic hardcore punk band, taking heavy influence from emo pioneers Jawbreaker, Texas Is the Reason, Lifetime, and Hot Water Music. The band followed up The Last Thing You Forget with their debut LP Shed in 2011, which displayed more of their emo influences than their hardcore influences, but still was a pretty aggressive record with a heavy emphasis on dynamics.

Their next two releases Floral Green, Title Fight’s sophomore LP which dropped just a year after Shed in 2012, and Spring Songs, an EP which released in 2013, were much more accessible and rawer punk rock albums, yet they both included a few mellow emotional tracks.

With Hyperview, Title Fight has almost completely done away with their roots in punk and hardcore, and has dipped into the shoegaze genre. Shoegaze is a genre defined by its atmospheric guitar and vocals that blend together to ultimately create one larger sound.

Hyperview opens with the somber ballad “Murder Your Memory” which sets the vibe of the record as a whole, instantly coming in with heavy guitar effects, a laid back drum beat, and droning vocals from co-lead vocalist Jamie Rhoden. Rhoden’s vocals are much stronger on this record than those of co-lead vocalist Ned Russin, as Rhoden’s vocal style is very appropriate to each and every song he provides vocals for. Russin strays away from his former vocal style, which is typically yelled and perfect for Title Fight’s hardcore days. His delivery when singing in the traditional vocal style is poor and completely unnecessary on Hyperview. The one song that Russin reverts back to his raspy yells, “Rose of Sharon”, is the most aggressive and interesting track on this record, and even brings back that classic Title Fight feel that old fans of the band may have missed when first hearing his new vocal sound. Though this is the case for Ned Russin’s vocal delivery, it is very much the opposite for Jamie Rhoden especially on tracks such as “Chlorine” and “Mrahc.”

The new change in style for Title Fight feels very natural, and it was not much of a surprise when the band began to progressively stray from their hardcore roots on Floral Green. Hyperview is very similar to modern shoegaze and emo acts Whirr, Nothing, Ovlov, and Pity Sex, bands who are heavily influenced by shoegaze godfathers My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride and have a sound very much based off the lo-fi production of their recordings. Title Fight follows the same template as these bands on Hyperview, just with a little more of a punk edge.

Overall, Hyperview is an above average record with strong performances by each member of the Title Fight, with an exception of Ned Russin whose vocal delivery is very poor to say the least on nearly every track. Aside from that, Title Fight has really put together another great record that will easily catch a couple of new ears, especially those of shoegaze fans who are looking for a bit of a unique sound that still manages to perfectly capture the genre’s ever so dynamic formula. Even if some of the former fans of Title Fight may be slightly bitter about the band’s shift in style, they should still give this record a chance.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10