MusicRecord Reviews

Titans of Filth

Wit and well executed irony define Titans of Filth’s new EP, Serf City. Employing clever play on the word “surf,†the instruments bubble along like those of a Beach Boys album, underscoring the antithetical lyrics which pose questions about entitlement in the American economy. Poignant verses investigate who might be to blame in America’s financial crisis and more aggressively illustrate the hypocrisy of some of those complaining.

On the track,“The Summer of Our Distraction,†an image of “Bummers in barns [who] sound out alarms/ wrapped in the charms of quality yarns†evokes the deliberate suffering of some privileged people who seem to enjoy the romantic idea of having an ailment to suffer. The song “Safe and Sorry: Profiles in Cowardice†closes Serf City and is more than twice as long and proportionally more powerful than the other three songs. The observation “Easy lives like ours are full of pain†emphasizes the triviality and hypocrisy of so many complaints. All four tracks embody the same attitude of frustration, confusion and, finally, disillusionment, vocalizing a complicated sentiment felt by many interested in social change.

As you might have guessed, this is not easy listening. The lyrics are challenging in content, and Sam Grindstaff’s nasally whine is often abrasive; but then, thinking deeply about our “Tiny lives defined by what we own and what we owe†isn’t meant to be a pleasant experience.