Song of the Hour: “Dimed Out” by Titus Andronicus

My wife asks me to change the song nearly every time it comes on shuffle on my phone. I’m not sure she even knows it’s happened multiple times- to her ears, I’m sure every song that she hears in my car and hates sounds like the same garbage, so how would she pick this one out? And I’m not going to pretend it’s crazy she thinks “Dimed Out” sounds like garbage; frontman Patrick Stickles has admitted before that he has a terrible singing voice. And as much as I totally shun screamo and hardcore and most metal music, because I can’t stand the sludginess of the vocals, I can’t stop loving Titus Andronicus, even when Stickles isn’t even trying for something approximating beauty. I think the difference between this kind of performance and a lot of metal music, is that it doesn’t feel like Stickles is adopting an affectation or trying to make himself sound a certain way. Every second of this bashed-out wail of a single feels absolutely honest. The Most Lamentable Tragedy, TA’s upcoming double-disc concept album described by their label as “a rock opera in five acts”, sounds like the most pretentious shit Stickles could have come up with, and if even half of it is anything like this wonderful, humanely short slice of Stickles’s psyche, we’re in for a treat. A really, really long treat, to be clear. But still a treat.

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