The debut full-length album by Brooklyn duo Jarrod Gorbel (vocals and guitar) and Aaron Kamstra (everything else), Anything Else But the Truth skirts emo clichés from the album title and cover art to Gorbel's deep-toned, close-to-tuneless vocal style. Two things set them apart, however, and they're the album's saving graces: Gorbel's dark-humored, sometimes genuinely hilarious lyrics and Kamstra's knack for inventive arrangements that give the record just enough variety to compensate for the occasionally by-the-book melodies. While anyone who has survived high school relatively unscathed can find things to laugh at in the average emo record, Gorbel seems to be setting himself up as the genre's new Morrissey: the humor is so deadpan that many might miss it entirely, but songs like the dryly biting "Revealing Too Much" and the plain hilarious "Cut Short" are, for a change, intentionally funny. Kamstra is best heard on a song like the chiming, catchy single "Bridge and Tunnel," which marries a propulsive rhythm guitar line to Gorbel's most tuneful chorus. There are a few flaws, such as the underfed Bright Eyes homage "Everything I Once Had," but overall, Anything Else But the Truth is an encouraging debut.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason