Audra
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Audra

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"Losing Today: Going To The Theatre Review"

"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... 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, 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... - Jennifer Jones - Losing Today Magazine


"Outburn: Going To The Theatre Review"

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 Moon 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... 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. -Doc Benway - Outburn Magazine


"AMG - AUDRA Review"

On the band's first full album Audra... their approach relies on gentle restraint counterbalancing energy, resulting in a very attractive first effort. The group's two signature songs from earlier EPs, "In All Our Androgyny" and "In Hollywood Tonight," the latter dedicated to the legendary Rozz Williams after his untimely death, show these qualities in spades. The former seems like a title befitting a rampaging, glam-shout anthem, but the song is in fact a low-key charmer, moody and elegant. Vocalist Bret has a calm but not unemotional singing tone, exhibiting a quiet passion that suits the reflective tone of his lyrics very well. Sometimes his feeling is of extremely dry humor ˜ "You're So Pretty" (with lyrics from Bart) is a great example, in that not many bondage scenarios get such a sweet little treatment, while "2 Girls in 1 Dress" has a killer title to begin with. Bart's guitar playing and drum programming both suit the album excellently as well. His fretwork, even at its loudest, feels more like strong shading rather than look-at-me crunch, while the understated rhythm pulses, often treated with echo, give the songs even more space. The introduction to "Spiked With Black and Rum" is a good example of this, the initial feedback wash giving way to a distant drum loop before Bret comes in with his singing. When the brothers turn up the energy level, as with the quicker feel of "What Your Eyes Had Seen," it isn't to fully explode. Thus, on said song the soothing synth backing contrasts against the guitar hook and drum/bass rumble, ensuring things remain seductively calming no matter what. Other songs of note include the minimal shimmer of "Flowers" and the calm majesty of "Nervous."
- Ned Raggett - All Music Guide (AMG)


"Outburn: AUDRA Review"

Audra is the duo of brothers Bart and Bret Helm. Throughout their debut full-length album, a high level of emotional intensity is sustained, and yet, through innovative songwriting, that same energy is artfully redirected from track to track. The resulting aural journey through this collection of moody pop tunes is highly engaging and never boring to the listener. The contemplative atmosphere is cultivated by both the dark, melodic musicianship and the poetic, forlorn lyrics (which are, furthermore, sometimes rather creepy - for example, the twisted mind of "You're So Pretty" and the downright bizarre "2 Girls in 1 Dress"). My favorite songs here represent the relatively heavier works; these include "Venus," "Nervous" and the cryptic, inexplicably sad "Spiked with Black and Rum," with its heartbeat dirge of jangling minor guitars and minimal moments of echo effected percussive hits. Also present on Audra's CD are slightly more upbeat tracks, including the goth club cut "In All Our Androgyny." "In Hollywood Tonight" is sweetly charged with sorrow, making a notable contribution to the sentimental strength of the album... - Lara Haynes - Outburn Magazine


Discography

Everything Changes [LP]
Midnight Moon Swing [Single]
Going To The Theatre [LP]
Audra [LP]

Photos

Bio

Much like other ‘family’ bands such as Oasis, The Black Crowes and Jesus & Mary Chain, Audra is fueled by the unique chemistry that is generated from brothers Bret and Bart Helm.

Audra broke out onto the national scene in 2000 when they signed with indie label, Projekt Records. After two well-received albums and well-over 300 live performances, the band decided to leave Projekt and go back to the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach that started their career in the mid-90s.

On May 19th, 2009 Audra releases 'Everything Changes,' their first album in 7 years. The CD was recorded locally in Tempe, AZ at Uranus Recording (owned by Robin Wilson, lead singer of Tempe’s Gin Blossoms), and produced by Robb Vallier (Dave Stewart, Paul McCartney, Wailing Souls, Peter Murphy, R. Kelly).

An interesting side note is that the recording costs were partially-funded by fan donations from across the globe. The names of all contributors are printed inside the CD booklet.

Key Facts:

• The band gained the attention of Davey Havok, lead singer of AFI, who chose Audra’s 2002 album Going To The Theatre as one of his top 10 CDs of the year.
• The next year, AP Magazine selected Audra as one of the top ten bands on the scene.
• 11 songs from their first two albums were featured throughout three seasons of MTV’s The Real World and several independent films.
• In 2008, their first music video premiered for the track Cabaret Fortune Teller.

Influences:

David Bowie, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Jane's Addiction, James