Titus Andronicus

New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus likes to show off their book smarts – they named their band after a Shakespeare play, and now their second record, this year’s The Monitor, is probably the first and only Civil War-themed rock album out this year. The songs are gloriously galvanizing, high-octane, and crunchy; the quartet uses battle stories of the war between the states (“A Perfect Union,” “Four Score and Seven”) – Abe Lincoln, Jeff Davis, John Brown, and all – to whip themselves into a frenzy and vent their suburban anxiety. Frontman Patrick Stickles’ vocals are scrapingly raw, the guitars are raucous, and the lyrics are angsty to the max (“I wasn’t born to die like a dog/ I was born to die just like a man!”) Who knew military history could be so punk rock? With Free Energy, Shakes. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Sun., Sept. 12, 9 p.m., 2010

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