Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz: Stuck Inside

Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz
Stuck Inside
(Baggage Room Records)

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A slow stamping snare and single piano chords run under the verses of “Morton’s Pillory Plea,” the opener on Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz’s Stuck Inside. The choruses bleed through loud and lush, countering the sparse verse and Ander’s heartbreaking pleading. This first track sets us up for much of what the duo has to say (and do) across the ten that follow.

Simple piano arpeggios and single keys move the second track, “The Bird Don’t Fly.” Again, the melancholy is thick as much from Ander’s high warble as the “Winchester Cathedral” like build from the back in the mix beat and little sonic-scape touches. I like how this one maintains its tight drama throughout, not breaking out to be anything but the cinema-like mélange it starts to be.

The title track, with its western laid-back, slow strumming, is quite welcome appearing mid-way. O’Bitz provides just the right jangle of single note bends and power chords with his guitar, playing off of Anders slightly biting lyrics. The lead rises just enough with the song keeping one locked deep in its moment.

Piano and a solid beat move “Holdin’ Our Own” perfectly; you are tapping your foot and swaying well before you are even aware you are captured by this, one of the most commercial tunes. What a wonderful lilting chorus the guys give us here. And the guitar mixed with single note melody pushes the concoction along.

“Small World Abide” pushes another of Anders’ better shout-vocals here, ending Stuck Inside on a desperate plea.

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