The Brooklyn-based alternative rock quartet the Honorary Title initially formed as a duo between vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Jarrod Gorbel and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Kamstra in 2003. Gorbel, who took up guitar at 13 while living in the Long Island suburbs, cut his teeth playing solo gigs in Manhattan's downtown venues before teaming up with Kamstra, an N.Y.C. transplant from Indiana. The pair's emphasis on acoustic-based hooks and soul-baring narratives attracted the attention of Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba, who handpicked them as Dashboard's opening act for a series of touring dates in fall 2002. The warm-up slot generated label interest, and the Honorary Title inked a deal with Ohio-based indie Doghouse Records in September 2003. A self-titled EP featuring only Gorbel appeared in 2003, while a debut album featuring both musicians, Anything Else But the Truth, followed the next summer.
The Honorary Title embarked on a slew of tours in support of their debut, hitting the road with such acts as the Format, Switchfoot, Lucero, and Taking Back Sunday. A brief headlining tour alongside Limbeck in February 2006 led to the reissue of their debut (with five bonus tracks and two music videos) later that month, while a contract with major label Reprise Records (under the Warner umbrella) followed soon after. In anticipation of their sophomore release, the band issued a short EP, Untouched & Intact, in July 2007. Containing two B-sides and two new tracks, the EP also announced the promotion of former touring members Jon Wiley (keyboards/guitar) and Adam Boyd (drums) as full-fledged bandmates. The Honorary Title's second full-length album, Scream & Light Up the Sky, was released the following month, featuring a fuller sound more reminiscent of contemporaries Rock Kills Kid and Jimmy Eat World than the band's earlier acoustic material. ~ Andrew Leahey & Corey Apar