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The Honorary Title

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Album Review

Fronted by Jarrod Gorbel, the Honorary Title take cues from Dashboard Confessional's acoustic approach and Wilco's darker moments that result in an all new folk-rock-inflected strain of the emo virus. Breathy vocals and an acoustic guitar are Gorbel's mainstays on this impressive, self-titled entry, and if his lyrics appear ridiculously bleak at times, a welcome wryness occasionally crops up on this six-song EP. "Everything I Once Had," for instance, about a sad sack who gets dumped on the subway on Valentine's Day, is equally jarring and charismatic. Elsewhere, a piano fleshes out "Frame by Frame," a vehicle for the New York City-based musician's stark observations about life's mundane rituals. If "Dilute" finds Gorbel at his most despondent, things aren't always so dire, as the damn near optimistic "The Faint and Precious Sound" thrives on a countrified shuffle that keeps things from getting too redundant. If a well-received tour with the aforementioned Dashboard saw Gorbel's star on the rise in 2003, the songs on The Honorary Title have cemented him as one to follow closely. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi


Formed: 2002 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

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...
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