Kevin Tihista’s Red Terror
Don’t Breathe a Word
The CMJ New Music hit “Lose The Dress” hand fed an audience full of weary modern romantics just what they needed, and the rest of Don’t Breathe a Word, the debut album from Kevin Tihista’s Red Terror, does exactly the same. All the songs — such as “Just Not Enough,” the title track, “Doctor,” and “Stoopid Boy” are done in bittersweet irony, smartly written, and bathed in catchy music to fulfill any need for a sensitive man. The short story behind the Red Terror part of the group name is actually a famous racehorse that died in the mid-1900s after an amazing career. Kevin Tihista and Ellis Clark produced and mixed all but two tracks (“Just Not Enough” and “I Love Her”), and Red Terror is a driving force, sort of a role model of what hard work can get you. Plus, horses go very well with the “nice guy” image (although surely that had nothing to do with it). This album isn’t a party disc. It’s not something you put on to get everyone dancing but it’s more along the lines of what you want at the end of a chill out session — it’s makeout music with lyrics that’ll make you smile (“The only good impression I ever made was on my pillow” from “I Love Her”). Although Tihista is originally from California, he now lives in Chicago where he’s a quasi-celebrity at local bars and gig clubs. For fans of Rufus Wainright and Trembling Blue Stars, this is a surefire must have. It’s the sensitive guy revolution — it’s about time.