Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Be a Toy” by Title Fight from the 2013 Spring Songs EP on Revelation Records.
Mixing second-wave emo dynamics with ’00s indie rock sensibilities, Title Fight’s emotionally poised punk rock is relentless in more ways than one. Beginning in 2003 in Kingston, Pennsylvania, guitarist Jamie Rhoden and brothers Ben and Ned Russin began writing songs and establishing a local presence, and not long after the 2005 addition of guitarist Shane Moran, the band embarked on a national tour with New Found Glory, forming what would be an early relationship in the band’s now-lengthy list of punk tourmate brethren. After releasing a series of EPs and 7″s (collected in the 2009 compilation The Last Thing You Forgot), the band released their eight-years-in-the-making debut, Shed, in 2011.
No longer content to have near-decades go on between records, the band quickly followed it up with Floral Green the next year before embarking on another slew of tours. More reflective and brooding (by punk standards) than most of their material, “Be a Toy” adds a muscular punch behind Rhodin’s Rivers Cuomo-esque while. Thick power chords and buzzing lead guitar soundtrack a masochistic lament - “don’t throw me away/I want to be your toy forever” - that recalls Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary as much of it does Rhoden’s own personal confessional tome. While the toy metaphor wasn’t the most original choice, the band’s tunefully heavy performance sells its bluntness with ease: sometimes the only words you can get out are the ones that immediately come to mind.
Title Fight are off the road at the moment, but when they get ready to put out a new release or inevitably hit the road again, they’ll post that information on their website and Facebook. Below, watch the Susy Cerejio-directed video for “Be a Toy”, filmed on the band’s 2013 European tour.