The Heroic Enthusiasts – “Tears Run Rings”


Rochester-based duo The Heroic Enthusiasts transport listeners to the ’80s with a blast of melodic nostalgia, courtesy of their cover of “Tears Run Rings,” originally from Soft Cell/Marc Almond. The track marks their latest collaboration with producer Stephen Hague, who has worked with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Peter Gabriel, New Order, and beyond.

Guitarist Thomas Ferrara notes that hearing Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret upon its 1981 release was “a magical awakening––a whole fresh and beautiful world opened up for us in lyrics, instrumentation, and production.” This homage to the Soft Cell classic proves poignant, both in its enduring impact and The Heroic Enthusiasts’ aesthetical pursuits. “The song aligns perfectly with The Heroic Enthusiasts’ predilection for love song lyrics with a dark and political bent,” says lead singer James Tabbi.

Twangy guitars and bright synth pushes intertwine into the moody vocal composure, driving delightfully into the memorable “the angels sighed,” hook, exuding a more subtle charm compared to the original’s brassy stomp. The Heroic Enthusiasts’ stellar take embraces the steady guitar/synth interplay amidst a statelier vocal tone. The bustling percussion into a synth-laden shimmer, approaching the three-minute turn, showcases a tonal gripping versatility. The Heroic Enthusiasts enamor fully with this cover of the Soft Cell classic.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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