The Crimea - Tragedy Rocks
Oh, yeah, and the cover is different as well? Perhaps Americans or Brits lack the ability to appreciate aesthetically one or the other, and so have to make do with a different cover. I'm gonna mark it down for that as well!
That is a shame, because this is an album (at least the UK version is) full of pop songs from the darker side of life. Dark, how many bands sing a catchy refrain with a line like this? -
"If you wanna see my happy side/Better tell me that my girl just died"
Ash did on "Nicole", but not many others, I'll bet. And yet that is the trick. The first listen leaves you with memories of catchy and accessible pop songs. Further listens gradually unpeel the layers, revealing something more dark and sinister underneath. That juxtaposition is what, ultimately, makes this album. And anybody who can combine in one song a reference each to Fred Flintstone, Tarzan, Captain Caveman and the Spanish Inquisition while referring to his girlfriend by the pet name of "Pumpkin" and his intentions as "prehistoric" (the track is "Baby Boom") has got some clever songwriting ability, not to mention lashings of street cred. (Tarzan also gets a mention in "White Russian Galaxy" so perhaps Davie MacManus has some sort of fascination with him - I think we should be told).
Okay, Davie MacManus has a good voice for this type of material - half sung and half croaked, always on the edge of screaming. The music is competent and tight, without ever coming across as wanting to dominate the whole shebang. And yet, the band allow a variety of musical styles to influence their tracks. "Lottery Winners on Acid" (great title, guys :-) mixes cheery acoustic guitars and backing vocals with a reggae beat; "White Russian Galaxy" has a real stomper of a rock feel to it; and "Opposite Ends" seems to go one further and has an almost metal, at least depressing and morbid, ring about it.
But underpinning the whole album is a surfeit of really good tunes. That's right, put aside the lyrics and the layers of interpretation you can put on them; lay down your pencil and paper for the pub-quiz question of spot the genre, the album is all about the tunes. These melodies will stick with you, like any good song always should. Yes, this is a true four and a half star album.
And as for deducting a star for being pissed off at the different track listing and covers for the British and American issues of the CD, well I just haven't got the heart to do it.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.