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Title Fight has grown up, but it hasn’t lost its heart

In Hear ThisA.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, in anticipation of  Coachella kickoff, we’re highlighting some of our favorite acts set to play the fest this year.

High school bands aren’t supposed to be good, much less last past graduation. But for every rule there’s an exception, and in the case of Pennsylvania’s Title Fight fans have been able to chart the band members’ new musical discoveries with each release. 

Title Fight was barely pubescent when it started in 2003, but by the time it began releasing 7-inches a few years later it was quickly cementing its place as a top-tier melodic hardcore band. With its members only in their late teens, it was natural that the band’s reference points would change, and when its debut album Shed hit, it was embraced the headier post-hardcore without a second-thought. With each new musical discovery the quartet made, the more Title Fight shifted.  Its sophomore album Floral Green offered its most notable departure with “Head In The Ceiling Fan” a song so reminiscent of Hum it could have been a long-lost track from the influential space-rockers. 

Earlier this year the band took yet another step into the indie world with the four-song Spring Songs EP. Though it didn’t fully abandon its hardcore roots–the fact Revelation Records released it only showed the scene’s lasting deference for the band–but it traded distortion for fuzz and yelped sing-alongs for cooing choruses. If “Head In The Ceiling Fan” serves as the band’s detour into alternative, “Be A Toy” is its expert appropriation of Archers Of Loaf’s indie-ethos. If anything, Title Fight has proven its possible for young bands to age gracefully, even if its just small steps from one sub-genre to another.