Fuck couldn’t come at a better time.
Titsdickass—New York City’s “post-post-punk trio” consisting of Julia Pierce (vocals, guitar), Seth Sosebee (bass), and Sick Nick (drums)—plunges a Rickenbacker guitar neck into the heart of darkness on Fvck, the band’s debut album. Released via Dark Side Family Jams and produced by Paul Millar (Slugbug, Cumgirl8), TDA’s first LP weaves together a first impression of fury, sex, grime, and fire.
TDA calls Fuck “the last lost love language of chaos.” It couldn’t be more apropos. On this album, the band are clad in feedback and fuzz, in static and distortion—but in such a way that they’ll be voted “Best Dressed” by the night’s end.
Fuck is haute couture collision, designer label destruction. The album opens with the razo rblade riff of “no way,” and Pierce sings, “I’m feeling good / I’m feeling great / Go ahead and get me down.” This theme of conflicting emotions runs through Fuck. The band are skilled at translating that innate human aspect of contradiction, of being a well-composed hot mess, into song. “Take me away from the edge / take me away from YOU” sings Pierce on “god awful place,” going from crying out for help—but not salvation. At least, not from you.
This is where Fuck shines: the album doesn’t ever present itself as an answer to disillusionment. Instead, it is an emotional reaction to existence, a “WTF” with an emphasis on that last syllable. With explosive post-punk tracks like “flames,” “cross me,” and “gf from hell,” Fuck comes off as someone who knows what you’re going through and will do what they can to help you get through to the other side.
The album closes with the title track, an 18-minute sonic scream-therapy session where only one word is said. It’s the spiritual successor to the buzzing dread that bookends Dead Kennedy’s Plastic Surgery Disasters, the anxiety felt throughout Rudimentary Peni’s Cacophony, and the scorn felt on Gay For Johnny Depp’s “Fucking Isn’t Cheating.” Considering everything that’s going on right now, it’s a perfect way to end.
Though Pierce’s vocals often surge into the red throughout Fuck, she looks good in that color. The mayhem never completely masks what the band are playing or the words she sings. The audio decay is not merely set dressing but an uncredited band member that strengthens the music without stealing the spotlight.
Nick’s drumming is sharp like a new sledgehammer, and Sosebee’s basslines might as well replace your pulse during Fuck’s duration. And while the band cite outsider art punk as inspiration, they don’t cosplay as their heroes, a trap that many modern post-punk bands fall into—emulating their elders and bringing nothing new to the table. Titsdickass doesn’t do that here.
The punk production on the album might turn off those who don’t vibe with such sound blowing out their speakers. So be it. If there is any major critique, Fuck degenerates too soon. In the first half of Fuck, titsdickass presents a perspective, a shining artistic voice that leaves you wanting more.
Example: There’s a war cry woven within “god awful place,” when “I don’t want to be seen / I don’t want to be seen – by you.”
The line tapped into surface thoughts of a recent interview by Jack Antonoff where the hipster stalwart mournfully opines how the NYC scene “finally just is over.” It is—for him. Standing on its burning wreckage are exciting bands like titsdickass, building a place of their own in the bodies of those that came before.
NYC is Dead. Long Live TDA.