Bob Pressner – Honor Among Thieves (CD)

“Afterglow Master” is the first track on “Honor Among Thieves”, and it comes forth as a completely unique style that is an extrapolation of Neil Young and Dave Matthews. While the track is vocal-heavy, the backing band comes forth with some serious fury. From this initial track, listeners will be caught on Pressner’s catchy melodies and solid instrumentation present here. The titular track follows up “Afterglow Master”, and showcases a much more funk-infused sound than the introductory salvo. Hints of bluegrass and country play even as there is a slightly electronic crunch to be had here.

The second set of vocals that work alongside Pressner’s give a fullness to the track that will have listeners clamoring for more. Out of all seven tracks on the “Honor Among Thieves” EP, I feel that “Angels in the Wind” may just be the best indicator of the raw talent that Pressner brings to the party. The track begins with little more than his vocals and a piano line, but gradually increases tempo and intensity, transforming the track into a twinkling little bit of heaven. Where acts need whole orchestras and singers need auto-tune and a grab bag of other tools to make their vocal emanations palatable, Pressner needs nothing more than his own, slightly gritty vocals (and a stellar female back-up) to make something that will be playing in listeners’ minds long after he closes shop on this release.

“Breakin’ My Fall” is the penultimate track on “Honor Among Thieves”, and it showcases again the ability of Pressner to need just the bare minimum to create an alluring and impressive effort. While the guitar and drums constitute a major portion of “Breakin’ My Fall”, the narrative quality of Pressner’s voice is the track’s highlight. With solid production allowing for each element to shine on its own terms, “Honor Among Thieves” is a great introduction to an individual that will only become more famous as the years (and the recordings) roll on. Check out “Honor Among Thieves” for a rockin’, emotive, intense bit of music that will affect listeners for months to come.

Top Tracks: Afterglow Master, Angels in the Wind

Rating: 8.0/10

Bob Pressner – Honor Among Thieves / 2010 Self / 7 Tracks / http://www.robertpressner.com

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