A review from 1340 Mag:
Not being familiar at all with Audra, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this release. Goth music these days is dominated by the more electronic bands so I just naturally expected to hear something in the vein of The Electric Hellfire Club or Spahn Ranch. Not so! In fact , in my opinion, this release is a throw back to better days for fans of goth music. Audra is musically more guitar and vocal oriented like Depeche Mode, The Pixies, and maybe Morrissey at times. Although drum programming is present here, it's done very well and manages to not bring an electronic sound with it. Vocalist , Brett Helm, is quite impressive. He is able to really dominate the music with his dark/downtrodden vocals. The way he sings reminds me of a mix between Brian Healy (Dead Artist Syndrome) and the late Rozz Williams (Christian Death, Shadow Project) yet never sounds enough like either of them to make you think he was imitating them. Don't get me wrong though, guitarist Bart Helm is no slacker. The guitar work here is fairly basic but it is perfect for the lyrics. The songs are simple for the most part but very strong. After listening to Theatre quite a few more times I have found myself liking it more and more every listen. Actually, I am really digging it. It's quietly creative and fans that appreciate music that has to be absorbed will fall in love with this as will fans of more mainstream oriented goth rock bands like the ones I mentioned before. Like always though, try something new! This is a good one to try.
AUDRA were praised as the next big thing from the US Goth scene after London After Midnight. This is a remarkable album evoking such influences as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Roxy Music and the Velvet Underground. Going to the Theatre (the second full-length release from Arizona-based brothers Bret and Bart Helm) presents ten snapshots of characters confronting the images and experiences that fuel their passage from child to adult, from innocent to debased. Between the sultry cabaret grind of "Midnight Moon Swing" and the sullen, lonely guitar of "Don't End This Time," Audra leads their audience on a stirring and shimmering journey through a landscape of innocence and its loss. Excitement clashes with sorrow, joy with fear, creating a dark, seductive and mesmerizing experience. Between Bret's deep, sexy, hypnotizing vocals and Bart's melodic and groove bending guitars, this album takes you through a musical spiral of mood altering gothic architecture. Going To The Theatre contains a perfect mixture of rough rocking tracks and emotional ballads. Favourites include the wonderful "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone," which has lovely lyrics. "Midnight Moon Swing" or "A Walk in the Woods" are purest Gothic Rock songs. "Donęt End This Time" seems to bet the perfect mixture of Peter Murphy-like vocals and late 80's 4AD Guitar sound, "Cabaret Fortune Teller" is a driving , powerful track with slanting Synthie effects. Every single song makes this a very many faceted album. Furthermore, the artwork of Going to the Theatre is simply wonderful. Heartfelt music is a rarity...
A review from Albion Batcave:
This is Audra's second full length CD. Going to the Theatre is a real musical masterpiece. After you have completely listened to this CD you will come to realize that you heard ten short stories created to music. The musical talents of brother's Bret and Bart Helm along with Robert Stacey can be heard through out. From dance-able, upbeat track's like "Midnight Mood Swing" and "Cabaret Fortune Teller" to the atmospheric "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" and concept songs like the title track "Going to the Theatre" and "Fearless" Peaches". Audra's sound is and can appeal to both the underground and mainstream audiences. They have done that already when Audra's music was featured on MTV's "Real World" and "10th Anniversary" shows. "Going to the Theatre" holds the same values and styles that can easily make Audra a house hold name. - Kim
Having made a beautifully elegant splash with their self-titled debut, the brothers Helm keep things going with their second Audra album, Going to the Theatre. Helped here and there by second guitarist Robert Stacy but otherwise handling everything themselves, Bret and Bart - still looking devilishly goth/glam, if the photos are any indication - again create a series of songs combining knowing artiness, glowering but catchy guitar riffs, and just enough humor. If anything were going to be a soundtrack to a movie about denizens of the darkwave scene in the early 21st century, this would probably have to be it. "Fearless 'Peaches'" alone - an acoustic-led portrait of a music-loving drag queen - could make the basis for a better film than most. Bret's singing is again an important and mighty fine element to why it all works, dark and low without sounding overtly doom-laden, yet able to readily convey emotional intensity when needed. "In a Dark Room..." is a major highlight, a birthday portrait laden with an ever increasing power in the music which Bret readily matches, building to a fiery (and at the same time just restrained enough) conclusion. Nods to everything from brutal industrial beats ("Cabaret Fortune Teller") to psychedelic drone ("All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone") help make Going to the Theatre a varied, accomplished listen. Stacy's contributions are quite effective, his spiralling concluding part on "There Are No Snakes in Heaven" and driving work on "A Walk in the Woods" particularly noteworthy. The title track is a delight, at once an amusing and surprisingly evocative snapshot of seeing movies and avoiding the likes of "Henry's mom...p in the booth watching over us." The understated blend of acoustic guitar lead and wheezing keyboards (the latter courtesy of Bart, who wrote the lyrics) with Bret's ghost-of-Bowie-and-Murphy delivery show the two to once again be masters of their field. - Ned Raggett
This second album of AUDRA was the one, I was mostly curious about for a long time, ęcos their debut was so fantastic. This is not just another AUDRA album, but a brilliant, fantastic, unbelievable AUDRA album and for sure one of my favorite releases this year! Even it is a really short album with only 10 tracks in less than 40 minutes, every track is a masterpiece. I would put it into the same league as Bowie Lowand the solo works of Peter Murphy, the info also talks about Iggy Pop and The Velvet Underground, but all in all, it is AUDRA!
Going To The Theater contains a perfect mixture of rough-rocking tracks and emotional ballads. My favorite is the wonderful "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone," which has lovely lyrics."Midnight Moon Swing" is a pure Gothic-Rock song, "A Walk In The The Woods is another one. It wouldn't wonder me, if we can hear these songs in the clubs soon. "Don't End This Time" seems to bet the perfect mixture of Peter Murphy-like vocals and late 80s 4 AD Guitar sound, "Cabaret Fortune Teller" is a driving , powerful track with slanting Synthie-Effects and so it goes on. Every single songs makes this a very many-sided album. Furthermore, the artwork of Going To The Theater is simply wonderful. Why should I write an exhausting long review, if I can describe this album in only one word: PERFECT!!!! "Heartfelt music is a rarity..." -Alexander Pohle
The brilliant record label, Projekt, to which the American darkwave/goth band Audra, is signed, doesn't need much of an introduction as I've already made a few reviews of Projekt releases before. Suffice to say, the label has a lot of high quality goth and darkwave bands. Audra, a two-man band consisting of brothers Bret (lead vocals & music) and Bart Helm (music), is no exception. Following the self titled debut which was released two years ago on Projekt, Audra's second album Going To The Theatre features 10 songs, each varying in style and sound. The album starts off with a bit of a noisy song called "Midnight Moon Swing", which slightly Shoegazerishly sports distorted guitars, along with Bret's charismatically dark voice. The album continues on with "There Are No Snakes in Heaven", which is followed by the slow and atmospheric title track, "Going To The Theatre" - a song that seems to have some influences from David Bowie. The fourth song, "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" is also a bit on the slow side but with a heavy and steady electronic beat. The fifth song "In A Dark Room" has all the traditional darkwave influences, and "Face To Go Red" is slow and sad, with catchy lyrics. "A Walk In The Woods" stands in contrast to the previous song as it is a fast song reminiscent of old-school Christian Death. This is followed by the nice, acoustic "Fearless Peaches", which in turn is followed by the ninth song on the album, "Cabaret Fortune Teller", which is a fast song with some neat vocal effects. The last song, "Don't End This Time", is a beautiful track where Bret really uses his brilliant voice to a great extent. All the slow songs on the album are really masterpieces by their own right. Going To The Theatre is an album where Audra take influences from other bands in the goth/darkwave genres, blend them together, and actually manage to create their own songs with their own, unique style. If you're looking for some fresh meat, and want to hear something from a new and fascinating band, Audra's Going To The Theatre is definitely something you should check out. - Brain
Not a bad debut release from the duo known as Audra. It's gothic, very gothic. As much as I wanted to find a better way to describe them than "their sound reminds one of Bauhaus," their sound really does call Bauhaus to mind. So call me clichťd, but there could be far worse things to sound like. Bret Helm's theatrical and chesty vocals could be an easy stand in for Peter Murphy's, especially in the powerhouse track "In a Dark Room..." If you have only two minutes to spend with this disc, make sure it's with this spine tingling number. Much of the songwriting has the simplicity of the early Batcave bands, so anyone into old school two-chord spooky tunes will want to suck the blood out of this one for sure. - Coreen Wolanski
| 5 Stars | I wasn't expecting such a hard-hitting opening punch! Track one, "Midnight Moon Swing", opens with grooving guitars that made me do a double-take to the CD Cover. Hmmm... beautiful little flower girls set amidst lovely roses in that faded "days gone by" atmosphere. I think I expected something more ethereal, not these powerful rhythms set down by the talented Helm brothers. I was caught pleasantly off-guard. The title track takes on an acoustic folk feeling with murky goth-undertones when Bret puts on his "black cape" and the listener also hopes that "tonight never ends". Deeply sensual ballads tell stories that I could sit "In a Dark Room" and listen to for hours. I want to know more about Fearless "Peaches", for I love Iggy Pop, too... and what is in his pretty leather purse? "Cabaret Fortune Teller" had me rocking out in my headphones. This cd is excellent! I want to crawl inside the mind of Audra... I want to creep around and get to know these stories intimately. I want to go to this "theatre" and watch Audra's saga unfold. - Sonya Brown
A review from Haloe Productions:
Darker than the finely woven fabric that comprised Audra's debut, Going to the Theatre is a seething malevolence eager to bare it's teeth. With ballsy seduction, Bret Helm invites the listener into a darkening, macabre undercurrent that is directed by Bart Helm's guitar. Gothic facets take a back seat to the portraits of Bowie and Alice Cooper splashed upon the backdrop; but this album stands firmly on it's own. At times, the emotion of a track such as "Face Go Red" can be unsettling, because immediately you sense you've lost control of the situation, and truth is...you have. "There Are No Snakes in Heaven", and "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" are ensnaring in their abandoned, delicate textures, ushering thoughts of candle-lit rooms and frighteningly dark corridors. The essence filtering through all the tracks is one of disturbance, or perhaps unseen presence... and it is sometimes as chaotic and cruel as the people that flow in and out of our lives. The mood quickly darkens with "Midnight Moon Swing" and "In A Dark Room", angrily pulsing and building slowly with fiery intensity. Those seeking club fodder can supple "A Walk in the Woods", an 80's goth reclamation, and, "Cabaret Fortune Teller", which seemingly suggests perspective to all us aging goths. Oddly quirky is "Fearless 'Peaches'", a completely unique piece built around acoustic guitar, and is best described as perhaps being influenced by the play, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". The final selection, "Don't End This Time" exudes an atmosphere of a deeply personal nature. It's infused with sadness and abandonment, leaving one deeply affected as the disc draws close.
With it's acoustic textures, Going to the Theatre is a powerfully expressive piece, outshining all expectations. Blending elements of anger, loneliness, sinister fantasies, and perhaps a touch of disdain for a pretentious scene, Audra has painted a remarkable portrait that once again is completely their own.
Arizona isn't a place you'd think would be a hotbed of Gothic rock, and perhaps you'd be right. But that doesn't stop the Phoenix duo called Audra from making some of the finest Goth-rocking pop in the country on its second album Going To the Theatre. Brothers Bret and Bart Helm traffic in the usual resigned gloom of Goths everywhere, but invest in it both a sense of dynamic melodicism and a strain of real emotional drama missing from the dance electronica of most modern darkwave. Plus Bret's expressive baritone was made to sing this music. While the band certainly knows its way around the depths of misery, it's not particularly interested in wallowing there. A song like "Fearless 'Peaches'" pays tribute to the eccentric drag queen that is its star, rather than telling a tragic tale about the perils of walking to the beat of one's own drum. The seemingly morose "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" ends with the line "You gave me hope," while "Don't End This Time" boldly proclaims "Just call for me/And it'll be okay." The band also shows a satirical sense of humor with the title track, gently poking fun at teenage Goth culture. Even when the Helms paint it all black, the imminent sing-ability of their melodies lets in a bit of light. The centerpiece trio "In a Dark Room...," "Face Go Red" and "A Walk in the Woods" puts images of depression, murder and suicide in the service of irresistibly catchy hooks. Audra certainly doesn't bring anything revolutionary to this black-clothed table, but it does what it does so well it doesn't matter. [buy it] - Michael Toland
Remember when you were a kid and used to spend hours playing pretend, dressing up in front of the mirror, becoming anyone you wanted to be? Now you're older, but not much else has changed; you still spend hours dressing up in front of the mirror, trying desperately to become somebody, anybody, but yourself for a while, at least for one enchanted evening. But the night always ends, and in the morning light you look the same as you always did. Maybe, though, just maybe, it'll be different this time....
With their second full-length album, Going to the Theatre, Audra once again twists the familiar, making it thickly shadowed and wonderfully strange. This time the focus is on growing up, on darkness and lost innocence, blind faith and hopes betrayed by cold reality. There are no happy endings here, but there is some beautiful goth music, roaring with powerful guitars and drums, making me think of Love And Rockets, David Bowie, Iggy Pop. Bret Helm's sultry low voice rumbles throughout, silky smooth but not afraid to show its teeth sometimes. And a lot of the imagery in the lyrics is just fantastic, such as the lovely moonlit visions of "A Walk in the Woods," ending in a spider's silken caresses, or the "red devils, white angels/dressed in black" of "Cabaret Fortune Teller." For the true creatures of the night, though, hopelessly addicted to love and disease, the title track, "Going to the Theatre," will be as close to a perfect modern-day goth anthem as you're ever likely to hear. Sinister, slow-strummed guitar and quiet keyboards provide the perfect backdrop for Bart's story of a night out on the darker side of town, where everything will be fine so long as you have your favorite black cape on, and the night never ends, and tomorrow never comes. - Dave Aftandilian
The Audra homepage describes the music of these relatively young goth-rockers as lying "somewhere between a Tim Burton landscape and a Dorian Gray painting..." Nowhere is this provocative description more evident than in their second release Going To The Theatre. From its opening notes, it's very easy to recognize, Going To The Theatre as being reminiscent of the best of Love and Rockets, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. However, to dismiss this album as a mere throwback to these obvious influences is not only a disservice, but also entirely inaccurate. Musically rich and varied, the Helm brothers show off their considerable talent in arrangements that range from hard hitting and contagious to fragile and passionate while always deeply rooted in pure darkwave and goth-rock at its best. Indeed, while the opening track, "Midnight Moon Swing," heaves with thick rhythmic percussion and potent, electric-charged guitar, the album's title track provides a pure, scaled down acoustic background for Bret's throaty, velvet vocals, yet both are equally powerful and showcase the diversity of this Arizona based band. Lyrically, Going To The Theatre, tells a unique story in each of its individual tracks, and while somewhat inconsistent in quality, together they provide the listener with assorted perspectives and a varied lyrical landscape to explore. Rounding out this impressive album is "Don't End This Time," in which the theme of universal loneliness is directly addressed in a powerful yet melancholy arrangement that brings to mind the best qualities of Human Drama, while maintaining a vision that is clearly and uniquely Audra. - Jennifer Jones
Sometimes the greatness is obvious, and the Helm boys, Bret and Bart, are going to be holding us enthralled for many years to come. Keeping it simple, I'd say, as "Midnight Mood Swing" proves. If Bauhaus ever did shoegazing they might rival this, if they were lucky. Nice repetitive guitar is able in an instant to accentuate the atmosphere with a tiny riff, and constant crawling vocals are delicately poised, rather than delicate. It's all so deceptively simple, and the simplest things are always the hardest to pull off. "There Are No Snakes In Heaven" has beautiful genuflecting guitar, proudly moody vocals and some creepy lyrical imagery, before it all simply melts away. "Going To The Theatre" is feckless and reckless youth exposed, and it's the way his voice, with a wispy guitar holds centre stage alongside the sordid words of - "I'm gonna catch me some great disease..."
When you figure he might make a thing of nocturnal stories, some proper sense comes with "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" the guitar and bass entwined, as odd keyboards move it along, and mark time, which is fitting for a sorrowful tale, of people as ghosts. So that's quiet and "In A Dark Room" hints at some aggression with music that buzzes, moth-like holding sway. Changes enchant for where that's broad, "Face Go Red" is narrow, scary imagery done in a higher pitched vocal, in a sad story around which sound hang and linger. "A Walk In The Woods" gets livelier, especially when it swerves around to the vocals. At one point the drawled approach made me think Eldritch had been given an enema, but banish that thought - oh God, banish that thought! - as that's one Goth comparison too many. They're nothing like that. Their fragrance may be damp, but they don't reek. Interestingly, when I was first hearing that song I was laying on the floor, looked up and found I had a small woodlice for company (they sometimes creep in through the catflap). I lifted him on some paper and placed him outside where he momentarily flipped on his back and wiggled. I think he was saying thank you for that song, although he still hasn't called... "Cabaret Fortune Teller" has darker musical redemption, a snapshot of resignation.
It is a wonderfully compelling album and this blissful clarity is only possible because they share individual quality and the sum is greater than any whole they could ever dig.
One day these boys are going to create magic.
A review from MK Ultra Magazine:
Shut up, settle down, quiet, relax. It's time for Audra and their moody goth rock. Listen, experience, reflect, absorb, become. Audra, comprised of brothers Bret and Bart Helm, blend a delicate swirl of keyboards that can effectively chime in with eerie rings that fill out the sound or provide ample resonance to the guitar. Track one, "Midnight Mood Swing," is just what its name implies. At times it thrives off its unrelenting bass beat that creeps up like footsteps from behind, and other times it gives way to intertwined guitar that chops through the sound or causes an auspicious rumble of noise distortion in the background. However, their slow, acoustic tunes are the real standouts on this album. Particularly, the track "Going to the Theater" and "Don't End This Time." The title song starts out with very harsh, solid words from baritone singer, Bret, and desolate chords to the lyrics, "Each week I put my clothes on the same way. Each week I put my hair up the same way. Each night I laugh and cry the same way." But midway through it perks up with softer guitar strums, a stronger, serene vocal bellow and ends with the repetition of "I hope tonight never ends." Lyrically, Audra creates illustrative words that back up the sincerity of their sound, and Bret has a dandy, solemn voice. All in all, they have a fresh, sonic sound to them that's perfect for those lazy, summer nights at home or adventurous ones on the dance floor. -Moe Wyoming
| 8 out of 10 | Goth rock with a touch of humor and realism Bret and Bart Helm offer up a solid helping of goth rock on their second album Going to the Theatre. The songs are a combination of pensive moodiness and sultry attitude full of echoing waves of both amped and acoustic guitar with dashes of programming and sometimes subtle other times explosive percussion. The opening cut, "Midnight Mood Swing," is an angsty dirge with grinding guitars and booming drums that stands out as the most aggressive on the album, though "A Walk in the Woods" and "Caberet Fortune Teller" are rocking tunes in their own right. It's the title track, though, where Audra begins to show their more interesting side. The song is about hitting the local theatre on a Saturday night. The lyrics with their gritty realism are an abrupt departure from the shadowy and at times intangible quality of the other songs. Bret's half spoken, half sung delivery makes the narrator sound both innocuous and lecherous as he walks the listener through the evening. "Fearless Peaches" is another trip to the world of the strange yet concrete with Peaches the Shuffler, a drag queen who has a penchant for stealing Iggy Pop albums. The rest of the album is as solid as one could hope for in the realm of goth pop, but thanks to their humor and realism you might wish there were more songs like these two on the album. -Doc Benway
A review from Sentimentalist Magazine:
There's always that exhilaration you feel, hearing something new by a band you admire, an exhilaration laced vaguely with dread. How dare they change, the inner chant goes, even while it insists, How dare they not? Audra's second album, Going to the Theatre, constitutes serious change for this Arizona-based duo, change in that sure-footed, momentarily-unsettling-but-best-possible sense. The music now seems even more true to itself, more true somehow to its original impulse. A number of the new songs are harder, busy with distorted guitar, beefed up with bass and with gripping (almost to the point of not seeming programmed) drums and percussion. But even the hardest and most orchestral songs render restive, guardedly passionate melodies, the choruses each and all simultaneously surprising and inevitable. "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" captivates utterly, with its tinkling synth-harpsichord and electro-tambourine, the human voice presiding (as always in Audra) with a kind of brooding lucidity. The Cranes and The Soil Bleeds Black have made much hay where the sun doesn't shine in terms of sibling dynamics; Bret and Bart Helm of Audra capitalize likewise on blood-proximity, on that knowing residing at the level of cells. The result, measure by measure, song after song, is uncanny, luminous, exquisite, bittersweetly intense. There's much here to love and replay, more even than in the landmark debut release. - Kirk Nesset
A review from Source Webzine (Brazil):
A julgar por faixas como "There Are No Snakes In Heaven" e "Cabaret Fortune Teller", o AUDRA até que poderia ser chamado de uma banda fortemente influenciada pela música eletrônica. Mas, isso nčo se confirma nas demais faixas de seu segundo lanćamento "Going To The Theatre". A dupla de irmčos Bret e Bart Helm consegue mostrar um repertório diverso e muito afinado com a música acústica e com melodias que nos remetem a viagens imaginavéis. Um repertório basicamente acústico com "Going To The Theatre", "Fearless 'Peaches'" e a gótica "A Walk In The Woods" sčo apenas um dos destaques dessa promissora banda que possue um campo amplo de fčs a serem conquistados ! Bom Rock com elementos acústicos, gótico e eletrônico ! Deep and hypnotizing vocals. Melodic and groove-bending guitars. Mood-altering gothic architecture. Go To The Theatre !
Blu's pick of the month (Blu is the editor, by the way) If you thought you knew what Audra sounded like, think again. Going to the Theatre is Audra's second full length CD release on Projekt and with this - we are ushered into a different world than the one they left us with at the conclusion of their first CD. And although their self-titled CD was dark and brooding, this is quite different in an intense way. All too often sophomore efforts too closely echo their debut and with that the intrigue and mystery of a band is quickly lost. But this - this will make people stop and take notice. The strength and variety of this second album, the growth shown in all areas from song writing to production, should be an indicator that Audra has huge creative potential and staying power. Don't underestimate them -- wonderful things will come from these boys - just sit back and hold on for the ride.
The first thing anyone will notice, if they thought they knew what Audra sounded like before, is how much heavier and grittier they've gotten with some of their songs. They've definitely ventured out and explored new territory. Infact, I almost bet that if I played tracks one or two to a group of random listeners, they might have trouble identifying the band at all. "Midnight Moon Swing" opens with guitars that could belong to a doom metal band - heavy with just the right amount of distortion; ever so slow and Bret's voice to match the mood as he sings/threatens/enchants -- "I'll keep my mouth shut if you close your eyes."
"There Are No Snakes In Heaven" is a song that's even been getting played at Deathrock club nights and that's no small feat to have crossed genres so easily. It has a fabulous rumbling bass line that would make any punk band proud, driving percussion and Bret's super stylized vocals - deep but smoothly calm, velvety, completely in charge and some of the best atmospheric goth rock guitar playing I've heard in a long, long time. As if the music alone weren't enough, the descriptive lyrics are brilliant and set a dark tone for the rest to follow by. Verses like this are bound to become classics:
Not as you are Looking up towards the sky Your cigarette in motion My almost best friend... The flowers were exquisite The odor of death and flowers No one noticed me Sitting in the back
The title track, "Going To The Theatre" highlights Audra's gift for telling stories musically. I remember hearing them perform this song live and it was so memorable I had most of the lyrics down after one listening. Bittersweet and nostalgic, it takes you on a childhood romp and then taints it with hints of hard adult lessens that are around the corner. These innocent events are punctuated by weighty concerns:
No fun in sitting alone reading a book No fun in watching some broads in a show No fun in sitting doing some work No fun in watching them fight
I'm going to the theatre on a Saturday night And I'm gonna catch me some great disease I'm going to the theatre on a Saturday night And I'm gonna become a great disgrace
And then they give us some release. The tone changes, the mood lifts a bit as the key changes to indulge us in a few moments of suspended reality:
I hope tonight never ends I hope tomorrow never comes I hope tonight never ends So long as I got my black cape on tonight I hope tonight never ends I hope tonight never ends
The pointed sentiment in "All Ghosts Spend Their Time Alone" is propelled by a steady beat and Bret's contemplative vocals -- "But you were always different, You gave me hope". With its repetitive "21 candles..." through out the chorus, "In A Dark Room..." was also a song I remember them playing live. The guitars are heavy again here - even more gritty with equally as heavy drum beats pushing the urgency in this song into a climax ... "I found myself along the way, I found between then and now..."
Track 6 is the slower and pensive - "Face Go Red" - (whose lyrics are mysteriously missing from the CD sleeve) is followed by the march-like "A Walk In The Woods" filled with vivid imagery. But truly, the superstar track f this CD is "Fearless 'Peaches' " whose acoustic guitar seems light hearted on the surface but upon listening to the lyrics you're sure to end up with a sentimental tear or two in your eyes because if you are not like this character than you surely know and love someone who is. This is Audra at its most brilliant - from superb miminalistic music to their talent at conveying the most sentimental feelings subtly through their story telling. The climax of the story, and the part that gets to me every single time is the part about snagging a record from a store and...
He races home and puts on the phonograph God how he loves the sound of the crackle God how he loves the sound of the pop God how he loves the sound of the crackle God would have said, "That's Iggy Pop"
Truly a nod to one of the greats.
Track 9, "Cabaret Fortune Teller" has been popping up on playlists too I've noticed. It's a fairly fast paced song that has distorted vocals and the chorus packs a hook with quirky keyboard sounds. And finally, "Don't End This Time" finishes up the CD on a quieter note - undoubtedly a bit about their experiences on the road. Sweet acoustic guitars take us home...
Again, if you heard Audra before and think you had their sound pegged, don't be so sure. Spanning a wide range of styles, this new CD is completely different from what they've done in the past. The maturity in their lyrics and the confidence in their delivery speaks volumes about where they're headed. Audra is one of those bands who has "it" - that magical element that can captivate and spell bind audiences.
A review from Zillo Magazine (Germany):
The second album of the Helm brothers, Bret and Bart aka Audra is called "Going To The Theatre," and indeed each and every song represents a small, theatrical story. Musically Audra seem to be heavily inspired by the grandmasters like for e.g. David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Velvet Underground or the post punk legend Bauhaus. Sometimes Bret's charming voice even reminds a lot of Peter Murphy's way of singing without being just a simple copy. The opener "Midnight Moon Swing" shows the rock-side of Audra, a side I really began to like within a couple of seconds. One thing for sure is that this new facet highly contributes to the overall sound picture of Audra, showcasing their abilities and musical diversity. Those of you who piss their pants because they are afraid that Audra failed to come up with some worthy successors to the atmospherical "All Our Androgyny" can calm down. There are lots of fresh pearls on this highly recommended album that can fill in those shoes, like for e.g. the haunting "Cabaret Fortune Teller." Hopefully - and with a little bit of luck - we'll get the chance to witness a live performance of Audra in late 2002. A chance I cannot afford to miss. - Thomas Thyssen