Monday 17 September 2012

Theatre Royal - A Hundred Thousand Tears

Single review by KevW

The Medway area is most commonly associated with housing the UK's largest battalion of 60s revivalists and garage bands, and while Theatre Royal are hardly the polar opposite to the usual sounds emanating from this retro stronghold, they spread their musical catchment area a little wider and happily turn their adept hands to a variety of forms of guitar music on the three tracks that make up this single, a precursor to second album 'at the end of a river, the sea...' (sic). That said, the title-track, 'A Hundred Thousand Tears', flirts with some jangly Byrds-ish guitars and harmonies to match. It's a heartfelt ditty about the pains of love, augmented by a subtle brass backing and it also should be classified as an earworm, getting that little bit better with every listen. It's a pretty fine tune, but we think someone's made a mistake.

The strongest track of this trio, and also the one most suited to capturing attention on first listen, is 'Down South With The Chameleons', a rollicking piece of indie that's seems like it's beamed itself in from the late 80s, asking us why it was never a hit. Personal preference maybe, but this stellar delight would seem like the one to push the most, particularly taking in to account things such as radio play. It's the kind of irresistible guitar-pop that repeat buttons were invented for. Last, and in fairness, probably least, comes 'A Friend, A Stranger And I'. On this occasion being the weakest track is nothing to be ashamed of, as this is still worth a few spins and updates Theatre Royal's sound by another decade or so. It could have happily graced a post-Britpop album, but unlike the two songs that it follows, this one is B-side material. Still, as far as singles go, this is a neat package and at least two of these tunes are belters.

Theatre Royal's website

Buy the single

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