Line between the reads

Anders and O'Bitz have been collaborating for more than 20 years, and they've been recording as an official duo since 2018. Their pieces tend to be oblique and tangential to many elements of the folk tradition. This four-song set is not oblique. "High on Cult Life" is the lead track, and it plays as a modern-day Neil Young critique on America--if Neil could manage to be forceful, delicate and subtle at the same time.

Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz
Contrapasso EP

But Anders's falsetto is highly reminiscent of Young's and these parables are pretty strict allegories. The music is only slightly more optimistic than some of David Eugene Edwards classic folk dirges, and the extensive instrumentation (banjo, pedal steel, dobro, mandolin, etc.) amplifies the urgency of these songs.

Well worth eighteen minutes of your time. If you're like me, those initial moments will multiply in the days ahead. I don't know if this is supposed to inspire or frighten. Perhaps both. A striking and incisive slash at the heart of America.

Jon Worley

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