But on the self-released By Any Other Name EP, all John Guilt has to do is play, and the result speaks for itself quite admirably. Like on any subdued, brush-drummed, country-influenced release, one will inevitably be reminded of people like Andrew Bird and Will Oldham (and Oldham's most prodigious imitator, Jason Molina). On the first track, there's a plucked violin and a phrasing sensibility that evokes Bird, and on "23 Revolutions," one is reminded of one of Oldham's more-passionate, less-nonsensical moments of intensity ("Riding," e.g.). This seems like happenstance rather than affectation--John Guilt makes quiet indie rock, and the comparisons write themselves.
Singer Andrew Goldman is an excellent lyricist ("Oh, Mr. Bob Dylan / Why didn't you like your name? / Trim those syllables and nothing will ever be the same") and the mix, provided by drummer TJ Lipple (also of Aloha--see?) is supple enough that Goldman's sweetly resonant voice is out front in exactly the right proportion.