The Monitor

Titus Andronicus

“If we build the grand framing concept, great songs will naturally come to it.” That might be how singer Patrick Stickles imagines his own “Field of Dreams.” Last year’s Airing of Grievances introduced a band that could tee up pretentious songs, but then get a lot of good mileage (and some great, rough-edged surprises) out of ’em. But now these young everyman doomsayers are recasting the Civil War — or at least the parts they’ve discovered they give a shit about. To bring the busy landscape to life, this band that dreams of a “New New Jersey” charges in serpentine direction with regular visits to heavy lyrics and drinking-song simplicity. The overall sound resembles Bright Eyes demos at times, only to segue into what seems like a morning-after session by the Dropkick Murphys. The longer songs give up some important internal logic to the big concept — despite yeoman’s work by drummer Eric Harms (military march rhythms to garage boogie, then repeat), fairly inspired use of Walt Whitman’s verse and numerous stretches where it all comes together remarkably well. Titus plays a free, all-ages show at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 12 at ear X-tacy.