Listen Up: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Theater Fire

Everybody Has a Dark Side (Undeniable Records)

By Tom Urquhart

Suspend time for a moment and imagine if Buddy Holly, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Woody Guthrie, Chet Baker, and maybe Otis Redding started a band together, somewhere between Fort Worth and the Mississippi Delta, with a pit stop in New Orleans. Fast-forward to the present day, and The Theater Fire will appear at the top of the list of candidates even remotely approaching the feel and sound of that fictional collection of legends.

No legendary names on the real bandís roll call ó yet. But the musicianship implies otherwise. The bandís tiny, largely narrative tunes are fused with elements of early country, pop, folk, mariachi, zydeco, early Motown, Dixieland, and handfuls of dust from the Texas plains. Although previous releases, including the ones way back when the band was known as Vena Cava, have certainly had their merits, Everybody Has a Dark Side has adamantly shattered the bandís earlier, somewhat reluctant-experimental image.

The melodies here are definitely catchy, and even though some of the orchestrations sound light-hearted, the lyrics are mostly lovely, dark, and deep.

The albumís timelessness comes not just from the styles it references but from its quality as a unique, awe-inspiring work of mellifluous sonic art. Itís an easy listen that wonít insult your intelligence, but even your non-brainiac friends may appreciate it with a cold beer.

Fri at the Metrognome Collective, 1518 E Lancaster Av, FW. 817-810-9777.


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