Public Service Announcements

The Crimea have announced this years Christmas show, check out the band’s official site or the latest mailout for details.
Not so good news, sometime during the Liverpool gig on Tuesday a picture (painting?) by Davey’s sister (most likely Rachael) went missing. If you happen to know where it might be, please let em know. Here’s an example of her work for Davey’s short stories and poems book (which you can buy here).
Taking time out from the giging, Davey gave a few words to 6Music News on Wednesday. You can hear it by skipping 30 minutes into Steve Lamaq’s Wednesday show, or just download this clip.
I wanna thank Adrian Smith, sub-editor of Drummer magazine for the support; if you didn’t already know, the latest November issue has a couple of articles on Crimea drummer Owen Hopkin in, you can get copies from the high street or via their website.
Also thanks to Martin Hough for all the stuff he sent me recently, I’ve finally scanned it all in and I’ll stick it up in a short while. In the meantime, checkout all the Crimea pics he’s taken at gigs.
Sorry to the guys who entered the album competition, I’m still waiting on a final decision from one of the judges, so far it’s pretty much a tie break between you.
You guessed it, more Tragedy Rocks reviews. This Is Fake DIY gave it 3.5 out of 5 while comparing them to The Magic Numbers.
Another review by Music Boom looks interesting, but not speaking Italian I wouldn’t really know. Anyway, Babelfish’s translation of “Lottery Winners On Acid and Bad Vibrations, at least musically, they ride towards the sun” is good enough for me.
And to end with; If you’re getting a little bored with Tragedy Rocks (some of us have been listening to Lottery Winners for 3 1/2 years, you know?), try this out: get a copy of the Audacity audio editor then follow their instructions for removing vocals from a recording. If doesn’t quite work, but the results are quite the interesting. Quick tip – it has the best results with Here Comes The Suffering, Bad Vibrations, Girl Just Died and Gazillions Of Miniature Violins.

The Crimea – Tragedy Rocks

Label: Warner
Released: 17/10/05
Rating: 3.5 / 5

‘Ardest game in the world, that music lark. One moment you’re tipped as the next-greatest-thing-since-Bono-sliced-bread-on-toast and the next you’re scouring the vacancies at your local Wimpy. Back in the mid 90s, crazy rock gang The Crocketts were tipped for the top, but for one reason or another their dreams of taking their unhinged indie-rock out of our country’s esteemed toilet venues never materialised. Now leader Davey Macmanus is back (complete with other stray Crocketts) with The Crimea – and it’s a world away from their previous incarnation. For instance, you’d never catch The Crocketts chucking in a ridiculously overblown ‘I thought only Matt bloody Bellamy could get away with this?’ baroque piano piece. As an album opener.

Underneath the jittery acousti-rock that makes up the bulk of this album lies a much darker heart: opener ‘White Russian Galaxy’ ventures into the gloomy world of underage alcoholism (“Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?”), while ‘Girl Just Died’ sees Davey moodily croak “If you wanna see my happy side/Better tell me that my girl just died”. They even throw in a track clumsily titled ‘Bad Vibrations’ (it’s like ‘Good Vibrations’ but not, y’see?), which sounds like The Magic Numbers with a chronic case of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The record’s title manages to ring true on most of the tracks: ‘Gazillions Of Miniature Violins’, thrums and throbs before exploding into a melancholy pounding, while album closer ‘Someone’s Crying’ sounds positively suicidal before a fuzz pedal appears and tries to accurately emulate what the apocalypse might sound like.

It’s not all introspective miserablism, though – The Crimea cleverly walk the line between bleak lyricism and the kind of uplifiting country-tinged rock Idlewild would rip their greasy locks out for. Album highlight ‘Lottery Winners On Acid’ is simply a great song: delightful glockenspiel assisted quirk-pop that could give the awful Athlete a run (ha!) for their money in the festival singalong stakes next summer, while ‘Baby Boom’ sparks, spurts and slurs like an up-for-it Arcade Fire on bonfire night.

The Crimea have managed to lay a solid foundation for whatever comes next: though the tension between dark and light may make for an uneasy and bumpy listen in places, ‘Tragedy Rocks’ is an undeniably accomplished debut.

Review by Matt Barnes for This Is Fake DIY.

Piatto ricco mi ci ficco

? possibile recensire un disco senza dover ricorrere ai soliti e vecchi luoghi comuni, in particolare a quelli legati allo strapotere delle major e allo smarrimento morale cui ogni artista va incontro firmando un contratto con tanti zeri? S?, soprattutto considerando la ricchezza e la levatura di Tragedy Rocks, un disco che potrebbe scardinare lo status quo e chiarire una volta per tutte che fama, soldi e gloria sono s? una triade importante, ma anche che a volte, fortunatamente, il talento ? alla base di tutto, precedendo ogni discorso che riguardi promozioni e marketing strategico. I Crimea sono un ottimo gruppo. Punto. Bisogna ammetterlo, al di l? di stupide generalizzazioni e di false supposizioni.

Quale band, del resto, ? oggi in grado di miscelare cos? intelligentemente pop, rock e musica classica, facendo sembrare Tchaikovsky e i Flaming Lips facce diverse di un’unica, meravigliosa medaglia? Probabilmente poche, anche perch? i cosiddetti alternativi sembrano pi? intenti a proseguire su di un unico binario piuttosto che allargare i propri orizzonti e ammettere contaminazioni che vadano al di l? del post punk o della new wave. Privi di qualsiasi timore reverenziale, i nostri sciorinano musica di qualit? e in certa quantit?, dimostrando di sapersela cavare nelle pi? svariate situazioni: ora grandiosi, epici e malinconici, ora invece allegri e scanzonati, come il miglior Brian Wilson insegna. Se in Opposite Ends ci mostrano il lato difficile delle relazioni amorose, in Lottery Winners On Acid e Bad Vibrations, almeno musicalmente, cavalcano verso il sole e il disincanto con grande maestria. A colpire, inoltre, ? la voce tremante e sporca di Davey MacManus, che in alcuni punti pare ricordare e richiamare le avvolgenti ed emozionanti linee melodiche di Conor Oberst.

Certo, ad onor del vero va detto che di carne al fuoco ce n’? fin troppa, come va detto che spesso e volentieri i quattro londinesi si lasciano trascinare dall’entusiasmo, creando un pastiche sonoro denso e sconclusionato. Il che, tutto sommato, non ? grave: in futuro, e con una produzione un tantino pi? sobria, i Crimea potrebbero diventare grandi per davvero. Oggi restano una realt? affascinante ma non del tutto compiuta, capace di emozionare e stupire grazie a riferimenti poliedrici e un’attitudine alquanto originale ma anche di perdersi in un bicchier d’acqua.

Rought Translation:

Is it possible to produce a CD without having to return to the usuals places, like many other major bands, and going through the moral loss that may artists encounter after signing a major label contract? Yes. Consider Tragedy Rocks, a CD that could unhinge the status quo and clear once and for all the reputation that money and glory are important. Fortunately, talent is the main part, concentrating more on that than promotions and strategic marketing. The Crimea are a pivotal group who go beyond stupid generalizations and false marketing.

What other bands are in a position to cleverly mix pop, rock and classic music, producing similaritied with Tchaikovsky and the Flaming Lips at the same time? Probably few, mainly because the so-called alternative seems more like an attempt to continue along the old railroad rather than increase musical horizons, and to alignt themselves with post punk or new wave. If you’re looking for something more, The Crimea produce quality music and in great amounts, demonstrating the ability to produce music in many various styles: all our rock, epic and melancholy, and unconventional allegros like the better efforts of Brian Wilson. While Opposite Ends shows the difficult side of relationships, Lottery Winners On Acid and Bad Vibrations, at least musically, ride towards the sun with great mastery. But it is the dirty, shaking voice of Davey MacManus that, at times, seems to recall recall being wrapped and moved by the the melodic lines of Conor Oberst.

Sure, they could end up tossed on to music’s preverbial scrap heap, but gladly the four Londoners have so far carried on with enthusiasm, creating deep, soulful music. But seriously: in the future, with a better production team behind them, the Crimea could become huge indeed. Today they’re still a fascinating band but not fully complete, able to move and astonish thanks to versatile references and an original attitude, but sometimes they get lost in the musical fog.

Review by Marcello Pelizzari for Music Boom, 07/11/05.

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3 Responses to “Public Service Announcements”

  1. Denyer says:

    > I’m still waiting on a final decision from one of the judges

    Being on tour’s a pretty good excuse…

    If you’re playing with Audacity, there are some useful tips about frequency ranges here:

  2. Christopher says:

    I was actually just playing around with linux in general… i say "was", the boot loader’s just cocked itself up and won’t repair. only thing i haven’t tried is a full reinstall. thank god i wasn’t stupid enough to stick it on the same drive as windows :o \

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