Just last year, Titus Andronicus released one of the most disappointing albums of the year, but with the hype turned down to simmer we can now see their true potential. A concept album inspired by the American Civil War without the historical context, ‘The Monitor’ conveys all the heavy sentiment, conflict and calamity with a wild eyed urgency. Triumphant without being compromised by misty reflection, it’s an album imbued with hopes and fears; of stories celebrated and taken to the grave; of the panorama and horror of a chapter consigned to history. Breathless and bloody, grandstand opener ‘A More Perfect Union’ bullocks along with a Flatley stamp, buoyed by boisterous Celtic spirit and the optimism of better days while ‘…And Ever’ slings and swings with the crackling energy of a smoking backroom bar. Evoking the soaring beat-street story telling of Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem, ‘The Monitor’’s everyman fortitude is immediately endearing. It’s like we were all in it together.

By Reef Younis

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