Title Fight’s third studio album, “Hyperview,” feels like a car ride down a forest-lined road. It feels like the days after a breakup, where the world stands still except for the quiet beating of your heart. It feels like the uncertainty and confusion of being young.
“Hyperview,” the Pennsylvania natives’ junior work, expands on the band’s previous experimentation with shoegaze, a musical style that blends distorted guitar and subdued vocals, which they attempted in their second album, “Floral Green.” “Hyperview” officially marks the band’s transition from the abrasive pop-punk that made them famous to ambient, angst-drenched indie suitable for hours spent lost in sound with your forehead pressed against a bus’ cool glass window.
For long-time Title Fight fans, who are accustomed to seeing the band delve into different genres, this album serves as a reminder that the band has the flexibility to evolve in any direction.
The album’s premier track, “Murder Your Memory,” envelops the reader in a dreamy haze of guitar and low-key, repetitive vocals. For anyone familiar with Title Fight’s previous work, this track serves as a disclaimer: “No, this is not Floral Green or Shed. Yes, we are trying something new. Yes, we can pull it off.”
The album’s strongest track, the lovesick ballad “Your Pain Is Mine Now,” appears halfway through the album. Its amorphous mix of guitars and vocals are simultaneously relaxing and heart-wrenching. Vogue called the track “the pretty side of punk.”
Although the album does mark a definitive shift in the band’s sound, fans of their old material will find solace in songs such as “Mrahc” and “Hypernight.” Although these songs are decidedly relaxed, they maintain hints of the band’s former aggression.
In 31 minutes, “Hyperview” delivers a solid listening experience, but the best thing about the album is that it isn’t perfect. “Hyperview” exemplifies the band’s search for a sound they feel truly comfortable in because, at times, it is disjointed and strange. The album has its dull moments, and, at times, the tracks seem to bleed together because of their similar-sounding guitar riffs. The album also conveys an odd sense of urgency — at any moment, the sound could explode. Far from diminishing the album, these blemishes make “Hyperview” an emotional piece, and they are the reason the tracks stick with you long after the music stops.
“Hyperview” suspends the listener in a void between the real world and a dreamy space of personal reflection. Though its brilliance might not be immediately apparent, the listener will want to immediately start it over after the final gripping note of the album’s last track, “New Vision.”
With their new album, the foursome from Kingston, Pennsylvania, prove they have matured since their formation in 2003. Although they have yet to find their niche, “Hyperview” shows that Title Fight can play multiple genres and play them well.
Listen to "Murder Your Memory," from new album "Hyperview," here: