Band of the Day

2011.12.27

Title Tracks

Punky power-pop jams from Washington D.C perfect for rowdy house (or political) parties
You'll see the ghost in me has no respect for where you're standing.
lyrics from Forget The Ghost

Title Tracks is a Washington, D.C.-based power-pop solo project fronted by John Davis. Formerly a member of post-hardcore band Q and Not U as well as indie group Georgie James, Davis began working on his first batch of Title Tracks songs in early 2008. Title Tracks' sound is typified by memorable hooks, melodic songs, soulful vocals and vintage guitar sounds that can be traced back to English punk and power-pop acts from the 70s. A one man recording project, Davis plays live with Michael Cotterman (bass) and Andrew Black (drums). Title Tracks released debut single Every Little Bit Hurts on legendary punk label Dischord Records in 2009. The group signed to the Ernest Jenning Record Company in 2010, released the LP It Was Easy and embarked on a US tour with indie-pop living legends Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Title Tracks' latest LP In Blank was released by the Ernest Jenning Record Company in 2011.

Like a phoenix emerging from the ashes of his former groups Q And Not U and Georgie James, Washington D.C’s John Davis has moved onto his latest project, Title Tracks. While his debut album as Title Tracks, 2010's It Was Easy, jumped between slow grooves like “No Girl” and poppier numbers like “Black Bubblegum,” his 2011 sophomore effort In Blank delivers succinct, punk-flavored songs that are perfect for the beer-fueled debauchery of house parties. And along for the ride, Davis has enlisted drummer Andrew Black (of the hardcore band Domino Team) and bassist Michael Cotterman (who also happens to be an employee of The Washington Post) as collaborators on the album. Kicking things off is the upbeat opening track “Shaking Hands,” which has a very early British punk feel—you'd swear Davis grew up eating fish and chips along the river Thames in London, and not amongst all-American landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the White House. Galloping along is “Light Sleepers,” one of the catchiest tracks on the album. It's here where you really appreciate that the album was mixed in mono instead of stereo, giving songs like this a warmer, more intimate feel—as if Title Tracks are performing a private show for you in a garage. “I Can't Hide” is a cover of the song by cult San Franciscan 60’s garage rockers The Flamin' Groovies, and it plays out like a punk letting glimmers of vulnerability and humanity sift through a roughened, pierced and tattooed exterior. But the stand-out track—perhaps because it's the most surprising—is the Merseybeat-inspired “Forget The Ghost,” which sounds like it could have been taken straight out of a groovy seaside town in 1960s England. The organ-heavy tune brings to mind the feel of walking along a boardwalk, smelling freshly-popped batches of kettle corn and listening to the delightful shrieks of terror from roller coaster riders. This is, most definitely, all you can ask for in a summer album—or an album that can help you dream about summer, even in the dead of winter. And with just eleven songs on the album, barely topping off at thirty minutes, In Blank delivers just enough straightforward power-pop to keep the energy going, without losing its pace.