The Theater Fire – Everybody Has a Dark Side

The Theater Fire
Everybody Has a Dark Side

Having recently watched Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou, it was a perfect lead in to my first listen with The Theater Fire. Mixing dusty guitars with quirky lyrics, Everybody Has a Dark Side could’ve easily been the soundtrack to a similar tale.

Traditional country music is a big influence on the group’s sound, but unlike the lighter pop-country, Theater Fire conjures up a sound more reminiscent of the older style of country heard from artists such as Johnny Cash. There is certainly nothing light about the vocals on the group’s sophomore release, which are deep and slightly reminiscent of Crash Test Dummies.

As “Kicking up the Darkness” enters the scene, the listener is instantly transported to a deserted land somewhere in Texas. Not unlike the Coen Brothers, the members of Theater Fire spin tales that are unlike what one would normally witness within everyday life. These stories are grander and, of course, a bit silly. In fact, some of the songs on the album will make you let loose a chuckle or two, especially when the backing instruments and general mood is anything but silly or funny. While this is not always seen as a bad thing, in this case, where certain odd lyrics show up, people stop paying attention to the record as a whole and zero in on what is being said above the music.

Even though this is by no means an album that would appear anywhere on the radio, songs like “I Heard About You” and “Hey Jimmy” are catchy and linger even after the album is no longer spinning. The use of guitars and horns in this album are interesting and add a lot of depth to the songs. It’s very easy to mentally transport yourself to a different time and place while listening to the quirky country-inspired dirges on Everybody Has a Dark Side. The only question is, is that place somewhere that you would like to be?