By Madeline Kerins
About two years ago, The Honorary Title was an obscure acoustic duo from Brooklyn just looking to play shows and provide audiences with some genuine, heartfelt tunes. Whether they planned it or not, they have now turned into breakout underground stars with their first full length disc, Anything Else But The Truth. Aside from catapulting Jarrod Gorbel and Aaron Kamstra to the status of emo sex symbols, the newfound recognition has also landed them a massive following countrywide, as well as a slot on a December tour headlined by Long Island band From Autumn to Ashes.
A follow up to their highly adored and coveted self titled EP, Anything But The Truth shows a true evolution in their sound and offers much promise for the duo's future. While the short, but extremely powerful EP focused mainly on Gorbel's wonderfully tortured vocals, the sound of an acoustic guitar and not much else, Anything but the Truth showcases both individuals, paying special attention to the talent of Kamstra.
Two tracks from the EP reappear on Anything but the Truth, except they have been reworked and contain much more depth. "Frame by Frame," is one of such tracks, and it remains a favorite. While the addition of drums to the album version makes it slightly more upbeat than the intensely vocal EP version, it is still an incredibly poignant track in which Gorbel and Kamstra seem to have perfected the art of composing a strikingly wonderful emo song. The other recycled song, "Everything I Once Had" pales in comparison to its breathy EP predecessor, though that doesn't make it a low point on the album, just a misstep that proves they're human. If they hadn't flubbed by rerecording that song, this album might have been too flawless.
"Points Underneath" is a take back to the beginnings. It shares all the same piano and guitar mixed with gorgeous vocals that all the tracks on the EP have. There is also the candid, drunken confession that is "Cut Short," which features the cheesy line of "We can be like onions and peppers / In a sleeping bag fajita / We can be anything you want / The way you're busting out of that wife beater."
There is no way of saying that this CD isn't absolutely amazing, because it is. If its absolute acoustic rock perfection you're looking for, be sure to pick up The Honorary Title EP as well as Anything but the Truth, and you'll have enough material to cry yourself to sleep for weeks.