Just The Usual

Radio sessions. Six of them. And not a god damn one in sight. Sorry if you stayed up listening to Kerrang or Radio Nottingham all night (like myself), seems they’re actually gonna be broadcast later in the year, so if you do come across them in a listing for Radio City, Radio Notingham, BRMB, Kerrang Radio, or somewhere in the Manchester or Glasgow area then please let me know.
Back to the usual then; reviews. Glasswerk London give the album a small one and say The Crimea “can touch hearts faster than any other band at this moment in time”.
Another one from Contact Music get’s Tragedy Rocks it’s best rating yet: 10 out of 10. The well informed review concludes by saying it’s “the best debut album I have heard”.
Almost as good is the 4 out of 5 from Rock City. “The Crimea are maturing nicely and should prove to be a good vintage for this year”.
There’s one more over at who quite like the lyrics.
The Crimea’s puiblishers Nuxx get in on the action by mentioning the album release on their site.
And here’s one session you won’t get to miss: Under Ground Online’s video of The Crimea’s in-studio session for them will be available to view from November 22nd, but for now you can make do with their photos of the session and short bio.

The Crimea
- Tragedy Rocks

Released: 17th October 2005
Label: Warner

There?s a surprising amount of feeling in this album from The Crimea. Starting with the piano intro, continuing with songs like ?Opposite Ends? whose lyrics ?only takes one black cloud to ruin a bright day?I was the black cloud, she was the bright day? lead us through a whirlwind of emotions.

Maybe because this band has been capable of raising from the ashes of The Crocketts?s indie sound, maybe because its leader Davey MacManus has undoubtedly grown up, ?Tragedy Rocks? is a real refreshing surprise in a moment where rock music seems only led by rock?n roll copycats and not by true stars anymore. The melodies of tracks such as ?Gazillions of miniature violins? and the harmonies of ?Someone?s crying? show us that The Crimea can touch hearts faster than any other band at this moment in time.

Review by Giada Arnone for Glasswerk London, 20/10/05.

The Crimea

Tragedy Rocks
Album Review

Tragedy rocks opens with a short piano solo which on a first listen throws you off guard for the way the rest of the album is shaped, But serves as a starter to the a succulent main course of curious intelligent lyrics, rousing melodies and riffs and equally complimenting piano and drums.

Sound comparisons with a modern day kinks or more recently Longview are easily heard. Although comparing this band to anyone in particular is unfair as the depth The Crimea show in this there debut is not really equaled by anything in the indie/rock genre at the moment.

Vocally Macmanus shows his wide ranging voice with suitably differing vocals on different tracks to match the arrangement musically as well as the varied topic of the song, this changes from the melodic ‘Bad Vibrations’ to the morose ‘Opposite ends’ with his twinge of Mick Jagger and poetic prowess of Morrissey an enchanting mix.

The group have definitely suffered for there art, especially Macmanus who almost transformed into a Travis Bickle style character, whilst working a string of dead end jobs which has obviously fuelled his sometimes visceral lyrics. For example the opening track ‘White Russian Galaxy’ is a social comment on the way Macmanus often found 12 year old girls drunk in the London parks he was working ? and so the underpinning evils of alcohol.

It?s not a surprise to find that both singer and drummer are writers, Macmanus a published writer of stories and poems and drummer Hopkins a freelance journalist for the likes of NME and KERRANG, which has transposed neatly into the lyrics on this record. With the likes of the stunning ‘Opposite ends’ – Which draws you in with a haunting and hypnotizing guitar riff and dark lyrics.

‘Takes one black cloud to spoil a bright day, I was the black cloud she was the bright day’

The ‘Miserabilist Tango’ personifies the down beat melancholy that Macmanus can lyrically detail. Talking about a lovers drop in Dublin, where lovers would end there lives as they couldn’t be together.

‘Might as well give up, the future would look better from above’

But his lyrics don’t get you down as you might think, with their unique blend of whirling strings and soothing beats repress any thoughts of sadness in a cathartic process of musical therapy.

Although this is there debut they have been around for a while. Notable plugs from the late great John peel. Who said that ‘Lottery winners on acid’ was ‘The best song I’ve heard in years‘. As well as ‘Baby Boom’ reaching number 8 in his 2003 festive 50. As well as appearances at ‘South by South west‘ and across the states have accumulated into an imminent springboard into the limelight for the group.

This album is full of substance and there isn’t a weak song, this is complimented with the perfectly tailored flow of tracks, as well as its head nodding beats and sing along hooks – even on a first listen! Are a strong sign of longevity for this record and the band. So being so full of musical nutrients you will be left more than full, but will still have you going back for seconds and thirds.
The best debut album I have heard.


Review by Adam Adshead for Contact Music.

The Crimea ? Tragedy Rocks

A timely release for a band that John Peel featured in the top ten of his final festive fifty (2003); that early single ?Baby Boom? is featured here, along with nine other compositions that in many ways defy categorization; the band have flirted with pop, Americana and lo-fi.

Girl Just Died has a touch of ?The Supernaturals? about it, whilst there is a rawness and an honesty to ?Losing My Hair? that recalls moments of Elliott Smith.

There are moments when tracks like ?Opposite Ends? reminded me of a poppier version of Muse, a cinematically scaled tune, but more stripped back, and woven around a lighter tune. There?s a real texture to each of the songs, and the sonically spiked tunes help to give tracks like ?Bad Vibrations? their own individual groove, but it?s Davey McManus?s boyish, smooth vocal delivery which is unhurried and gives tracks an individual laid back feel.

There?s a jangly distortion to tracks like ?Gazillions of Minature Violins? that would invite comparisons to bands like ?Mercury Rev? and there?s a similar sense of mesmerization to many of the tracks. At times the mix feels a little chaotic, but it?s the diversity which also helps keeps things moving; there?s a certain twang and bombast to the record that gives it a human warmth.

Clearly John Peel wasn?t wrong. The Crimea are maturing nicely and should prove to be a good vintage for this year!

Rating: 4/5.

Review by Greg Thomas for Rock City, 21/10/05.

CD Review: The Crimea – Tragedy Rocks

With their innovative sound, The Crimea have produced a better-than average-yet-still-missing-that-key-ingredient album, Tragedy Rocks. The title alone gives you an idea of the somewhat dark tone of the album. Mixing plenty of melancholy with emotional and prolific lyrics, you get the sense that frontman and songwriter Davey Macmanus’ mind isn’t always filled with flowers and sunshine.

The London quintet’s debut album, Tragedy Rocks features fourteen eclectic tracks, including the interesting tune “Lottery Winners On Acid”.

The lyrics are the kind that make you wonder if you just heard them correctly. On the bittersweet “Girl Just Died”, Macmanus sings “Want to see my happy side? Better tell me that my girl just died” while in the comical “Baby Boom” he, uh, croons, “You can call me Fred Flintsone, Tarzan King of the Jungle. I guess I was a little prehistoric, pumpkin, at your place this afternoon”. Har har. Cute.

The album ends on a sad note. Depressing, even, with a tragically (and lyrically) beautiful song, “Someone’s Crying”. I kind of get the feeling that the thirteen previous tracks were all leading up to this final moment. A gut-wrenching scream of despair. It’s damn good, despite what others have to say about it.

Lyrically speaking, this is a top album. Musically, I feel it’s a bit awkward and has room to grow. Give these guys a few years and they’ll be taking over the world.

Review by Jones Violet for

::The Crimea

Artist Bio & Facts  The Crimea’s material springs from the mind of David McManus, a London-based singer/songwriter who started out laying down simple songs on an eight-track recorder with help from drummer Owen Hopkins. The results were impressive, and the band has earned a following in the UK, including high praise from legendary DJ John Peel. A showcase at the SXSW Festival brought the Crimea to the attention of major labels, and the group would go on to sign with Warner Bros. for the release of their album, Tragedy Rocks.

Why We Like ‘Em  Literate and melodic, the Crimea’s music combines complex orchestration with pop/rock hooks that play on the primal parts of the listeners’ brain. McManus is an impassioned frontman, and his fervor shines both on Tragedy Rocks and in live performance.

Bio from Under Ground Online’s Crimea video session page.

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