Returning with their third full length release, Title Fight showcase such an obvious evolution in sound that their bristly punk roots are often difficult to isolate. That said, the Pennsylvanian foursome undoubtedly demonstrate increased finesse, fuelled by a high dose of accessibility. If the blang of watery guitar tones over longing vocals gets you going, this album poses as a definitively positive progression.
The mellower approach is immediately signposted by opener Murder Your Memory. It sets the stage for an ambient ride; layers of cloudy murmurings gently ebbing and flowing. The album does grow livelier and lighter, gradually and meticulously paced, before reverting to a swaying, beguiling moodiness on penultimate track Dizzy.
Interludes of playful, twee guitar lines and sprawling, lackadaisical vocals, as on Mrahc, indicate a growing inclination towards indie-rock. But single Chlorine is an excellent slice of melodic soft punk, on which segments of instrumental, minor-chord clanging are interspersed with hook-laden verses.
Given its subdued approach to noise and dynamics, Hyperview seems a far cry from even the band’s most recent record, 2012’s Floral Green. It’s only more than halfway through this 10-track offering, on Rose Of Sharon, that those familiar raspy screams enter the fold. They’re still not at the fore, though, the aggression instead pared back by a strong, jangly melody line.
This fluidity is mirrored in the range of genres they work within. Prominent ’90s influences are incorporated throughout the album via turned-down, shoegaze style vox in the vein of Ride. There’s a familiar dash of old-school emo revivalism in their intricate guitar-lines and occasional waves of lethargy. The probing bass line of Hypernight, for instance, precedes a melancholic haze of angsty harmonising and twanging guitar.
But this is a solemn apathy; there’s no touch of petulance or raucousness here. It’s the sound of a hardworking and longstanding outfit who have evidently grown up.
Despite its promising builds in angst, the album never quite reaches that cacophonous explosion of noise for which hardcore fans, and loyalists of their earlier work, may be left yearning. However this ever-evolving outfit pull off stylistic intermeshing in such a cohesive and bewitching fashion, that it’s hard to doubt the impression Hyperview will make on a matured and broader fanbase.
‘Hyperview’ is released in Australia tomorrow, Friday, 30th January. The band tour Australia in June — details here.
Watch: Title Fight – Chlorine