Since Title Holder released their debut, “Animal”, they have been busy delivering more impressive singles. Each one confirms why they have been catching people’s attention with their infectious blend of pop-punk and ska. Now, Matt Sullivan (Vocals / Guitar), Andrew Nicolae (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Chayse Schutter (Drums), Joey D’Alessio (Bass), John James Ryan (Saxophone), and Dave Heck (Trombone) are ready to showcase their musical talents with their debut EP Story of My Life. It is a six-track EP that features all of the songs they have set free so far, with the addition of the title track.
Getting the party started is the track “Signs”. As soon as it begins, you can hear the chemistry from this collective. The energy and overall vibe of the song puts a smile on the listener’s face. Even with the story that is shared, its soundtrack is upbeat. It delivers a singalong chorus, “Leave everything you know behind / All the wasted years that you called your life / Don’t forget all the battles you won / And don’t lose sight of those you lost / You’ve come this far by now Just to make it out”.
Next up is “Animal”, the debut that kicked down the doors to say “Title Holder has arrived!”. From the get-go, its ska infused foundations set up the mood for what will be the first (of many) outstanding moments from this release. Sullivan gets the story going with, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing / Caught you leaving in the morning / On the chariot that you called up / From a handheld device that you carried up”.
As it continues, like the opening track, the infectious energy of this band project is impressive. Yet again, it peaks as the hook arrives, “I shouldn’t have given you my real name / In the first place / Like an animal I lose control / The words you said / They’re in my head”. Most of the credit needs to go to the band and the arrangement of the music. However, Sullivan deserves some for his lyrical talents too. He walks a line that balances depth to his story with a simplicity that is easy for the listener to sing along.
“Empty Apartment” slows things down and lets the listener focus on the story. It opens up with, “I heard that the landlord sold the building / Guess we gotta move today / I think that’s something I’d accept / If I only had a place to stay”. A story about being forced to leave an apartment that holds special memories. As reflected in, “You can take me from the place that I love / But you can never take my heart from it”. It is a moment from the release that has a different flow from the others before it. But highlights that Title Holder are not afraid to mix things up and avoid becoming too predictable.
Next is a story about making the most of what you have while you have it. “Hanging By a Thread” is about persistence and perseverance. It instantly bursts into life with the wind instruments, soon followed by the rest of the band. Yet again, they create infectious energy with their sound that is hard to stay still while listening. As always, they make the listener join in with their hook. They do so with the lines, “When everything goes wrong / I just hope you’re there / This could fall apart at any moment / Everything’s just hanging by a thread”. It all comes together to create another sublime moment from the EP.
It’s hard not to notice the tone of “It Doesn’t Matter”. There is an angry/frustrated mood to its soundtrack. The band do a great job of creating this atmosphere. Thanks to the talents of Schutter on the drums, along with Ryan’s Saxophone and Heck’s Trombone. It adds so much to the repeated lines, “It Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter / What you say anymore”. Lyrically it is flipping the middle finger to those who call themselves leaders. Perfectly highlighted with the lyrics, “This is a stain on our history / how could one person cause so much misery”.
With an impressive subtle lyrical depth, Title Holder’s debut EP is an infectious collection of songs not to be missed
Bringing the EP to a close is the title track, “Story of My Life”. A song that is special to Sullivan, who says, “It was the very first Title Holder song I ever wrote. I showed Chris DeMakes (from Less Than Jake) the demo. He told me “I love it, it’s really good, let’s make it better!”. Together, Chris and I added a fun pre-chorus. Then reworked the chorus lyrics a touch. Carefully chose some words in the bridge to really pull on your heartstrings. If this song hadn’t been written, Title Holder may have not ever been a thing”.
It delivers a message, “When you feel like everything isn’t going your way, you can always change it up and try something new. There’s always more to life”. As shown throughout the release, it is a message perfectly put across thanks to some impressive way with words by Sullivan. He does so with its hook, “I hope you know that I’m alright / This isn’t the end, only the beginning of something else / I hope you know that there’s more to life / This isn’t the end of us, it’s not so bad, It’s the story of my life”.
While the story is flowing, the band (as a collective) are working their magic. It is a winning combination that is the secret ingredient to what Title Holder offers. No matter the message they are putting across, they do so with a contagious energy that is hard to resist. They make the listener move and smile while absorbing each track. Story of My Life is a flawless collection of songs that NEEDS to be heard and enjoyed. Just press play and appreciate the musical goodness that they bring.
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