Record Review - 2 July 24 2003

Race For Titles’ take on post-breakup post-hardcore isn’t meant to be played in a room full of people, so save it for some quality time spent alone, between listening to records by Cursive and the Cure. The dejected quartet is like the friend slumped over the bar who lays his relationship problems on you week after week: Just as you think he’s regained his balance and is ready to move on, here he comes again, sunk back into depression. This is not the cutesy brokenheartedness of fellow Omaha act Bright Eyes or the disturbed aggression of Cursive. Craving catharsis, not answers, Race For Titles lingers longingly between the sentiments “I fucking love her” and “I am so fucking over her.”

Opener “AM/PM” rolls in on a swell of glistening guitar that paves the way for a burst of epic heartbreak, but its soaring voice sounds too naive to have endured such misfortune. Other songs like “Don’t Forget to Breathe” and “The Distance Session” conjure a mood of murky melancholy, lifted straight from the Cure’s Disintegration. Cold tension runs thick from beginning to end of this self-titled debut, binding each song together. Its poignancy depends on your disposition: Do you want to hug your sad friend or do you want to choke him? Neither feels like the right thing to do, so you sit and listen as your own apprehension builds.

Race For Titles play the 10 High Wed., July 30. $5.