The Crimea – Tragedy Rocks

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Fronted by published author Davey MacManus, The Crimea have already begun to establish themselves on both sides of the Atlantic: their BABY BOOM single beat The White Stripes’ SEVEN NATION ARMY to top spot on John Peel’s final Festive Fifty of 2003, while the band have won high profile support slots with a succession of big names after bringing the house down at South By South West.

And on debut album TRAGEDY ROCKS, you can see why: colourful, bittersweet lyrics and shimmering indie pop meld into a concoction that evokes everyone from Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips to Leonard Cohen and Pulp. Less annoyingly twee than some of their contemporaries, lines like “If you want to see my happy side / better tell me that my girl just died“ make you sit up and listen and songs like MISERABLIST TANGO hint that the music’s tongue is firmly placed in its cheek.

By turns melancholic, funny and slightly loony, this is entertaining, smart, engaging stuff. Like Arcade Fire, this is a breath of fresh air away from some of the dullards on the indie circuit.

5 stars