As the second month of 2010 inches towards its frozen close I can safely say that Titus Andronicus’s “A More Perfect Union” is the best thing I’ve heard since the bell dropped. It’s the leadoff song from their forthcoming sophomore album, The Monitor - a Civil War-shrouded epic about living in uncertain times that lives up to the promise of 2008’s The Airing of Grievances and then some. Brilliantly tweaking a classic line from fellow Jersey native Bruce Springsteen (“cause tramps like us, baby we were born to die”), and quoting “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (and hell, the Constitution for crying out loud), “A More Perfect Union” is a prime example of this band’s greatest strength - writing angst-filled guitar rock anthems designed to get a room full of people amped up and shouting along. I don’t think there’s anyone better than them at that these days (case in point), and I’d say that in the middle of The Hold Steady’s rehearsal space if it wasn't for the restraining order. Pitchfork had the free download today; The Monitor rocks your world on March 9 via XL Recordings.