Titus Andronicus - Feats of Strength (B-sides, demos, live recordings)
This collection of odds-and-ends from the New Jersey band's first few years is for fans, by fans, but as such, it's a nice little treat.
Sometime last week, Titusandronic.us, a great fan site for the equally great Titus Andronicus, posted an unofficial album of previously-unreleased, or out-of-print, recordings from the band, including a few live cuts. If you thought their studio work sounded scrappy, wait till you hear some of the nearly-inscrutable, stereo blow-outs on Feats of Strength. Or don't. Newbies should go for The Monitor, their phenomenal (and wrongly dismissed, by this very website) Civil War concept album from earlier this year. The devastating version of "To Old Friends and New" on The Monitor, the first of which appeared on the first Titus Andronicus EP and reappears here, is a fitting illustration of how far the band has come in just half a decade.
As lead singer Patrick Stickles says on his band's official blog, it'll give you a chance to "tell all yr [sic] friends, 'See? I told you they sucked!'" That being said, serious devotees might get a kick out of their rambunctious cover of the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner", and Stickles' solo version of "No Future", from Titus Andronicus' first full-length, The Airing of Grievances, strips naked a ballad that was emotionally bare to begin with. In any case, the curious should go download it for free here.