The Honorary Title rates critical comparisons to Elvis Costello, while its tourmate Koufax conjures Joe Jackson. But despite musical and lyrical similarities to these early '80s stalwarts, these groups don't draw aging hipsters. Instead, they're introducing piano pop to MySpace-logged teenagers, most of whom haven't heard anything like it beyond their big brothers' Ben Folds CDs.
The Honorary Title pairs singer-songwriter Jarrod Gorbel and keyman Aaron Kamstra (synthesizers, organ, and piano). Drummer Adam Boyd and guitarist John Wiley flesh out its live sets. Gorbel's vocal arsenal includes distraught shouts, intense multi-octave warbling, and hard-consonant dismissals. He also has a lacerating sense of humor, best evidenced by the carnivorous koala pictured on the cover of the most recent CD, Anything Else but the Truth.
Koufax singer Rob Suchan's vaguely cosmopolitan delivery lends sophistication to the band's piano-peppered rock. That unplaceable accent comes in handy during the group's smartly sarcastic single "Colour Us Canadian."