The Austin Chronicle

ACL Fest Reviews

Record review

Reviewed by Matt Dentler, September 17, 2004, Music

The Honorary Title

Anything Else but the Truth (Doghouse) In this corner, hailing from Brooklyn, there's the Honorary Title. In the other corner, the returning champion, Death Cab for Cutie. Watch them spar for airtime on The OC. The Honorary Title, essentially the duo Jarrod Gorbel and Aaron Kamstra, needs a drink, or at least a hug. On Anything Else but the Truth, their second release and first full-length, they've constructed delicacy around heartbroken and sometimes downright depressing storylines. On "Everything I Once Had," the words "You dumped me on the subway, on my way to work at nine in the morning" come softly before Gorbel erupts into screaming rage as the song crescendos with "Anyone is suitable for you, I guess, tonight." When THT does love songs, if you can call them that, they come up with something like "Points Underneath." This is Gorbel in full Jeff Buckley mode, wailing an uncanny impression with the sentiments "And I can, so I will, just as long as you instill this fear in my heart." Without a doubt, there's something appealing about a couple of indie rock kids who are so down on themselves and unafraid to act cool about it. Luckily, they know how to play, too. While the legs they stand on may be all Shins, someone had to come in and put some more somber emotion back in the emo scene. For a genre dedicated to sadness, things have been far too happy for too long. (Friday, 5:10pm, BMI stage)


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