Surely there are better songs on the album, but my favorite part of Local Business is the refrain to '(I Am The) Electric Man,' when a falsetto chorus sung by Patrick Stickles is layered under the regular Patrick Stickles. Titus Andronicus needs that song. You can bet the Brooklyn punk band argued about whether to capitalize "The" in the title, too. They are a serious bandsometimes comically soand the silliness of "(I Am The) Electric Man" comes as a welcome reassurance. It almost makes up for the eight-minute "My Eating Disorder."
So Local Business is not a deviation from form nor a return, so much as a settling-in. The fever pitch of sincerity that was both invigorating and vaguely troubling on The Monitora concept album about how the Civil War is like moving to Boston and breaking up with your girlfriendhas been cut with irony. Titus Andronicus seems to be maturing in the same way as The Clash. They still sound angry and they still rock, but the whole affair is conducted with the jaded certainty that they must do so because they are among the few who can. It is the grim wisdom of 27, and it suits them.