Going to the Theatre
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.