June 26, 2006

The Theater Fire: Everybody Has A Dark Side: Review

theaterfirecoverThe Theater Fire
Everybody Has A Dark Side
[Undeniable Records - August 2006]
*Sixeyes Score: 8 out of 10

Review by David Reis

All the way back to 1995, North Texas, we found Vena Cava. A band formed by Don Feagin and bassist Mark Castaneda with a couple of friends. Years later, same place, we discover renewed, talented Theater Fire. An outstanding work of country, gospel, pop and mariachi sounds (no,wait... yeah, mariachi) that are both familiar and brand-new, an attractive combination of classic Americana and folk sophisticated instrumentation. Piled high with exquisite strings, trumpets and banjos ("Fiddleback Weaver" and "I Heard about You") trace Theater Fire's intimacy and elegance. Amply orchestrated, "These Tears Could Rust a Train" and "Everybody Has a Dark Side" transpire beauty but also a surprising lyric agitation... Don Feagin (lead vocals) blends an unusual sense of phrasing and doleful humor, with his songwriter friend Curtis Heath, that is both deeply literate and inspiring. This is a record that impels you to lean closer to your speakers in order to fully hear everything that is being played and sung. Details -- a trumpet here, a guitar there, a violin that appears out of the surrounding air, sounds poking in and out -- fill every cleft in the sound. For all its musical complexity and inherent melancholy, Everybody has a Dark Side (Undeniable Records) over time proves an ingenious masterstroke. Heartbreaking, gorgeous, sharp-witted and fetching, this record unifies the different, but complementary beauties of post country and sweet mariachi weirdness.

+ these tears could rust a train
+ everybody has a dark side
+ fiddleback weaver
+ i heard about you

David Reis, or Sabas, is an indie music messiah. The worst Portuguese messiah you've ever heard of. Bastard!


  1. this sounds really promising, thanks david/alan

  2. More than promising...one of my favorite records of the year!