Bob Pressner - Honor Among Thieves
It is rare indeed that a 7-track EP can manage to be cathartic, not only emotionally for the listener but also for the artist themselves. Bob Pressner says that "A song like ‘Twisting In The Twilight'" (from Honor Among Thieves) "is about having the courage to stand alone on your principles. It touches on the overriding theme of life's deep emotional complexity. Things may not always be as they appear."
So, we pop the music on and sit back. The first thing we hear is the soft guitar tones and gentle vocal caress of 'Afterglow Master', which rapidly evolves into a rolling, crashing classic rock-style track. Then the energy is brought ever more gently back down to earth by the piano-driven 'Angels In The Wind' - developing a few more layers towards the end, but otherwise very much based on French folk song methodology.
Oh, what's this? It's called 'Bleeding Me Dry' and it's got much, much heavier guitar and slightly scuzzy patter vocals which explode into a chorus of riffs and multiple voices Interpol would be deeply proud - the "my list of guilty pleasures can never be erased" seems poignant so far. But then we're back to folky lilting with 'Breakin' My Fall' - which is a bit of a nothing track, given everything that's gone before.
'Honor Among Thieves' greets the listener with... Beck. Literally, it could belong to Beck. If you hear it, you'll see what I mean. But it's not a bad song, and unlike Beck it comes back to the (now expected) rock chorus, but it's nonetheless engaging, as all well-played rock music is. 'Independance Day' follows the traditional rock pattern, played well. It's got a little more energy that most of the tracks here though and it drives us neatly into 'Twisting In Twilight', a rather lovely come-down track.
Although not an EP to listen to all at once start-to-finish, but if you pick and choose wisely it's more than capable of moving you. There's a lot to be said for the adaptability and skill in Pressner's vocals too - without a doubt the main feature of the record. An appropriate ode to a dual life.
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