Brooklyn-via-New Jersey punk heroes Titus Andronicus have returned with another ode to the intersection of extreme existential thought and guitar solos: "Dimed Out," the first single from their forthcoming rock opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, which arrives July 28th via new home Merge Records.
"Dimed Out" finds Titus blending the breakneck, bare bones stylings of their last album Local Business with the ambitious orchestral flourishes of earlier offerings like The Monitor. Above all, though, it boasts frontman Patrick Stickles' perennially haggard vocals extolling the virtues of a life lived on the edge with the volume turned all the way up.
"Dimed Out" appears during Act II of the five-act rock opera that is The Most Lamentable Tragedy. The plot, according to a press release, centers around a nameless, distraught protagonist, who meets a stranger that looks just like him, but acts completely different. Their encounter sends the protagonist on an existential odyssey "through past lives and loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him."
Stickles addressed the scope of the album in an interview with Grantland. "By creating a really big canvas, you have the opportunity — and really, the responsibility — to expand in as many different directions as you can. These things all reflect the mind space of the main character. Depending on how optimistic or empowered he is, the music will reflect that. It will have the capacity to be more uplifting or more, you know, down-lifting. For every weight you put on that side of the scale, you have to put the equivalent weight on the other side of the scale."
Longtime collaborator Kevin McMahon and Titus' lead guitarist Adam Reich co-produced the album, which features contributions from pianist Elio DeLuca and violinist Owen Pallett (both of whom have played on previous Titus albums). Members of fellow New York City bands So So Glos, Baked and Bad Credit No Credit will also appear on the album.
The Most Lamentable Tragedy is available to pre-order digitally via iTunes, or as a 2-CD or 3-LP set through the Merge store. Titus Andronicus will celebrate the album's release with a five-night stand at Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium July 24th through the 28th.