Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, April 13, 2007

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Using influences of Jeff Buckley and Elvis Costello, The Honorary Title brought their blend of organic music mixed with the crooning-style vocals of Jarrod Gorbel to Columbus, OH. Gorbel uses his mild stage persona to lend attention and attraction to the backing track that is Aaron Kamstra, Jon Wiley, and Adam Boyd. But even though Gorbel uses little rock star moves during the 45-minute set while opening for Butch Walker and The-Let's-Go-Out-Tonites, his crooning-style voice and heartfelt lyrics still command much of the attention of those listening in the crowd.

 

Upon hitting up the bands Myspace page, Untouched and Intact is the song that plays, and live the song was a definite noticeable addition to the set. But The Honorary Title's show is about 20% rock and 80% roll as the band seems to roll through their not-so-upbeat set list with little care for how the audience reacts. In fact, one of the few times Gorbel even acknowledged the audience was to comment on the stench coming from the stage and letting everyone know it smelled like home while also laying blame on band members who may have dealt it (without realizing that is just how The Newport smells on a nightly basis).

Although most of the much of the material comes from the independent EP release entitled Anything Else But the Truth, the band seems to be getting more recognition for one song that appeared on the One Tree Hill album and the long-anticipated follow-up to the highly acclaimed EP. It seems many bands are falling into the singles mode in which a song on a soundtrack would be good enough, but The Honorary Title definitely puts together a full records-worth of quality material. However, for a live show, it seems the aura of many of the band's songs put the audience in a mood of wanting to be rocked out; which for an opening act to Butch Walker is a good place to put those in attendance. However, it seemed that anyone who was unfamiliar with the band took away an impression that the band was not a quality, upbeat live act, when in fact The Honorary Title just seems to be an act that needs some song recognition in order to enjoy the live show to the fullest.

While many may not realize how long or the amount of effort a band has put forth to get its break, The Honorary Title has been garnering a ground well of support since 2004. The band has been a writing machine and seems to learn from their experiences. Where once the band seemed lost on stage, now that lost-like mentality is used to the bands advantage as each musician seems to be focused on their part of the song rather than trying to form fake cohesion through signature moves and like-minded poses. After all, it was 2004 when The Honorary Title was getting headlines in most major music magazines and Gorbel was being listed along Eliot Smith. But three years have faded since those articles, and The Honorary Title are again looking to find themselves in the sea of Indie rock bands. And since those writings, Gorbel continues to prove himself to be a solid songwriter, and his live performance is in cue for nearly every moment his is on stage and in front of his microphone. So maybe this time without the hype, Gorbel and crew will at last make their mark on the Indie rock scene.

 

The Honorary Title will be releasing it's first major-label record on Warner Brothers records entitled Scream and Light Up the Sky in August.. It comes to little surprise that it is produced by Rob Schnapf, who has also produced Eliot Smith.

Jarrod Gorbel
Jon Wiley
Aaron Kamstra
Jarrod Gorbel
Jarrod Gorbel
Jarrod Gorbel