The Most Lamentable Tragedy
Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
The Most Lamentable Tragedy is Titus Andronicus’ Merge Records debut and an epic one at that. The two-disc, 93 minute rock opera, is about a man who runs into a doppelganger whose behavior is much different than his own. The opera opens with the headbanger of a punk rock track “No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant”, a song about death and depression.
Lamentable Tragedy deals with some very common issues such as on “Stranded (On My Own)” touches upon manic-depression, prescription medication, and feelings of abandonment. “Cover the thick bloodstains / On your sick young brain / Just take your Ritalins…”
In the second chorus, he sings: “Look up ‘Addicted’, that’s me / Then look up ‘Wicked disease’ / Then look up ‘Sick of police’ / Then look up ‘Victim’ closely…”
One of my favorite songs on the record is “Lonely Boy.” The way the band is able to fully grasp the punk rock vibe and visit issues such as loneliness and being antisocial.
“Mr. E Mann” brings a mellower, alternative vibe to the rock opera that talks about the narrator meeting a ‘mystery man”, which obviously is a play on words, and getting high on some type of drugs. “I was crying as I tried to get high…”
Like “Mr. E Mann”, “Fired Up” brings a different sound to the record; a slight 80’s punk vibe to the record. So it is not all in-your-face punk rock. On “Fired Up”, it tackles education and organized religion: “Did they always ask you why you had to act so different? / So very different from all the other children / What could you tell them? / When they went off to try to / Criticize you and chastise you / Baptize you and then lobotomize you / Isn’t it true, ooh ooh that special school…”
The second act begins in “Dimed Out” where the character is exploring and creating art and his desire to live life more to the fullest. He goes from sleeping the days away to realizing the full potential of life. “I used to like walking with my eyes down / I’d sleep all day and fret away the night hours / But then I saw the sun and felt its light’s power / And I found out the planet ain’t no private house / Now I turn a brave bully to a shy coward / Make a loud lout silent as a quiet mouse…”
Overall, the record is a fun, punk rock record and a great addition to Titus Andronicus’ collection of punk rock albums.