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"This is a powerful album ... bold ... the sadness of what we're going through today ... set to music."

Zoe Dune

"This haunting masterpiece is a chilling exploration of the mysterious and thought-provoking, a sonic tapestry that will send shivers down your spine and leave you questioning the very nature of reality."

Javier, Vents Magazine

"The songs ... cover a trio of topics: political, philosophical, and sentimental, and convey a sad feeling, an aura of melancholy, as if confronting an impasse, like a wall, around which you can neither advance nor retire nor sidle away....  Although suffused with a sense of gloominess ... [this album] is ineffably beautiful ..."

Randy Radic, v13

"[Anders/O'Bitz continue] their knack for truth-seeking introspection and poignant, moving themes set amidst a folk-Americana styling....  The build-up here is fantastic, reminding fondly of Neil Young."

Mike Mineo, Obscure Sound

"An evergreen project, a conscious one to reflect upon at certain times in life."

Manny King John, Grungecake

Contrapasso

Another Anders/O'Bitz/Butler Project

Released April 1, 2024

Produced and Mixed by Mike Butler
Mastered by Jamal Ruhe  

“Contrapasso” (or, “contrappasso” in Italian) comes from the Latin “contra” and “patior,” meaning "suffer the opposite.”  In Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio, “contrapasso” is the punishment of souls "by a process either resembling or contrasting with the sin itself."

 

Eric chose this name for the EP because the songs are all critiques of the American “inferno” we are living in today–where Americans are either enslaved by or oppressed by the ridiculously stupid beliefs of a racist and cultish minority of hundreds of millions.

 

The Americana-rock style and the thematics of these four songs were all inspired by the Anders/O'Bitz/Butler single from 2020, "Careful Now My Son," about which music critic Will Oliver wrote: 

 

“Careful Now My Son" captures a folk and country-themed rock sound that takes the inner turmoil of the past year and captures it in a fashion that feels raw and passionate." 

 

Careful Now My Son” was not intended as much a reflection of the “inner turmoil” of the pandemic as a warning about the existential threat posed by Trumpism.  The four songs on Contrapasso are a reflection on the cultishness of Trumpism, in addition to America's original sin of slavery--two very connected aspects of America's present and past–since the MAGA cult could be considered the New Confederacy and the old Confederacy was very much a form of Christian Nationalism, which has been on the rise for the last four decades.  

 

Bells Toll” is a reflection on Frederick Douglass’s observation that the Christian bells would ring along with the bells of the slave auctioneers.  White Nationalism and Christian Nationalism have always gone hand-in-hand.


This EP features the amazing production and musicianship of Mike Butler who, in addition to producing and mixing, plays almost all of the instruments.  Eric and Mark are very grateful to have worked with Mike since 2020’s American Bardo.

Breaking and Entering, Milwaukee: Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz's Contrapasso takes you there

May 6, 2024

By Deuce

... The name of the project? Contrapasso. Eric is on the vocals, climbing the ethereal heights with his feathery falsetto. Both of the gents are credited with songwriting.  But the one to watch for is Mike Butler, he of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and mixer status.

The things Butler does with the guitar, hell, any variety of guitars, on this album are not to be done at home....

Now granted, some of his playing, the trajectory of the composition, and perhaps even the chord progression or the notes themselves, must be attributed to the foregoing composers. But check the guitars on “High on Cult Life”, which is first up to bat on this affair. They’re better than those found in the movies...

“So many high on cult life” Anders phrases, with a penchant for sumptuously inflecting the final two words. And, with Butler’s guitar playing, you’ll be one of those out your body and your mind, trying to keep up with this one....  

Now mind you, Butler’s not just confined to the acoustic instruments he’s fingering on “Cult Life”. On the rest of the EP he gladly trades them for banjos, mandolins, dobros... a lap steel, and almost every other instrument heard on the four songs.

... But that “Cult Life”? Uh, it needs to be played again.

 
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