Where Titus Andronicus once made great statements out of bloat, on their sixth album they do it with refreshing brevity.
Patrick Stickles understands that it takes a gimmick to sell music these days, so he’s winkingly provided one. To tease their throat-grabbing new album An Obelisk, the band released a meta, 36-minute pilot for a sitcom called “STACKS” that satirizes the modern promotional cycle while simultaneously feeding it, following a barely fictionalized version of Stickles as he endures the indignities of the record industry. After the album’s first video flops, his label PR suggests manufacturing a viral dance challenge (“#TitusAndronicusChallenge or something like that?”). When he dismisses that idea, they suggest a pivot to synth pop. His day plays out in a sequence of deflating interactions that make the episode feel like a structural mirror of A Charlie Brown Christmas—both chronicle a melancholy idealist as they process the commercialization of something they cherish.