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2004-03-22My review: The Crimea - Tragedy Rocks (album)

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Tragedy Rocks


Scroll down for lyrics!

www.inaudible.co.uk

Track listing:

1. White Russian Galaxy
2. Baby Boom
3. The Miserabilist Tango
4. Bad Vibrations
5. Lottery Winners On Acid
6. Opposite Ends
7. Howling At The Moon Won't Make It Better
8. The Great Unknown
9. Bombay Sapphire Coma
10. Six Shoulders, Six Stone
11. Out Of Africa

And if you just don't get it, raise your hand. A fitting tag line for this album, plucked from its third track… not that the band don't get it. Far from it. Listening to Tragedy Rocks, it's evident they appreciate life in all its bemusing glory. After three singles, the album many of us have been waiting for has arrived. Does it live up to expectation? You bet.

First impressions are that the packaging is nicer than previews we'd seen. Thought went into it; Double Dragon have opted for a simple three-colour design throughout, a clearly numbered track list on the reverse and complete formatted lyrics in the booklet. Having the words is definitely a worthwhile bonus. If you like signed stuff, order early and direct from the band or get yourself along to a gig—that red sky looks pretty good with black marker.

A caveat before we start: loud volume levels really aren't needed. The production has been well handled and there are many nice touches you wouldn't want to drown out.

Second single White Russian Galaxy opens, and is a signature Crimea tune. Solid rhythm from the bass section, infectious guitars and lyrics that will make you think and make you glad you did. Most recent single Baby Boom is all that and more, adding distinctive guitar bridges and pop culture references.

First new appearance is The Miserabilist Tango, which contrasts some delicate keyboard work with raw guitars. The result I find very soothing and there are some rolling lyrics on the chorus which complement this perfectly. (NB: “Chopsticks” is a fairly simple tune often used to teach keyboard. Personally I'd never heard it, but you can download a MIDI here. Whilst we're here, a tango is a passionate Spanish dance said to be a meeting of souls… as for who Dusty might be, your guess is as good as mine.)

Bad Vibrations will probably be best remembered for its chorus, although hopefully people will also pay attention to the verse; all these words best left unsaid / should have been said long time ago, no question / when people start firing missiles /that's not tactile. In other words: listen to troubles before they get out of hand. Great song.

First single Lottery Winners On Acid is another positive, feel-good track. A credible loved-up ballad, it captures the sentiment of “for better or for worse” with touching irreverence. Its gentle humour and simple melody make this a firm favourite for many.

Next track Opposite Ends may be familiar to Crocketts fans (an early demo was used as a b-side for one of the later singles) and, as recorded here, is a relentlessly driving poem asking a lover for another chance and to think of the good times. The admission of guilt and desire to make things right asks only that the other involved recognises that both have changed for the worse.

Howling At The Moon Won't Make It Better lives up to its title. Extremely chirpy and given to breaking into jaunty shotgun chorus at a moment's notice, it becomes another advocate of one of the album's recurrent themes: anaesthetising ourselves won't really help anyone. This is a wake up call.

The Great Unknown is more unhurried and less cheerful. The b-side to “Baby Boom”—which saw quite a limited release—its inclusion here means one less single to track down, and the band have quite thoughtfully ensured it's the one with a single extra track. If you did manage to get a copy, how about passing it on to a potential new fan? Incidentally, I strongly recommend the first two singles. Each has a couple of new studio tracks, which are all as good as the songs here.

Bombay Sapphire Coma is the Crimea track I was most looking forward to. I'm now stuck trying to explain why its falling-away guitar riff superglues itself to my consciousness every time I hear it, returning to mind unbidden days later. (Some more trivia: Bombay Sapphire is a light dry gin with considerable hidden kick, which might give you a bit of insight into the lyrics. And I'm still of the opinion “Utopia” is a slightly better name for the song, else it's the second with a drink in the title.) Get the t-shirt.

A few listens were required to wrap my head around Six Shoulders, Six Stone—still not sure I have, really. Formerly demo-ed as  “Hell's Kitchen”, it presents quite a dark set of lyrics (references to Biblical wilderness) with occasional quips—I'm under the next train out of here. Usual warnings I'd give anyone about taking the narrative voice of a song as the voice of its author apply.

Closing track Out Of Africa is another with a strong Crocketts vibe to it. Dispense with previous advice and turn this one up. Its title could be taken to be referring to several things—including the origin of the species and a richly celebratory semi-autobiography by Karen Blixen—and the lyrics also seem intended to bring to mind various books and films. The verdict of the song? Humankind never stood a chance. You can't help but get the feeling Davey loves it anyway. Truth, as they say, is the funniest joke of all.

Fans familiar with the Crocketts will almost certainly appreciate this new direction. Other music lovers will find forty-odd minutes of songs extremely resistant to being stuffed into pigeonholes. Asked to liken them to anyone else, this is the Flaming Lips with a drink in hand… but you should hear this band for yourself. If you like what you hear, tell people!

The beast is upon us.


WHITE RUSSIAN GALAXY

Straight out of high school, went into the jungle
searching for Tarzan, who might be dad.

You kick like a mule, short of an oscar.
Screaming blue murder at newly weds.

Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?
Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?
Who knows?

You talk like a fish, in nonsensical bubbles
and blow the word 'bitch' through your smoke-ring.

You cause only trouble, and bring only suffering,
just get in the spaceship and stop bleeding.

Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?
Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?
Who knows?

Won't you tell me why you never sing in church on Sundays?
Why won't you ever go all the way?

You're floating towards heavenly hell,
hanging from the rafters like a church bell.

You're light years away from reality,
lonely and lost in a White Russian galaxy.

Who knows?

Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?

Who knows what goes on?


BABY BOOM

We're just a bunch of buffalo, getting slaughtered.
We're all red Indians, we love firewater.
We're just a bunch of buffalo, getting slaughtered.
We're all red Indians, we love firewater.

CHORUS:
You can call me Fred Flintstone—
Tarzan, king of the jungle.
I guess I was a little prehistoric, pumpkin, at your place this afternoon.
I guess you just weren't interested in getting drunk
and trying to start a baby boom.

(repeat all)

(repeat chorus twice)

No one said it's gonna be easy darling—
It won't get better.
No one said it's gonna be fun—
It won't get better.


THE MISERABILIST TANGO

Girl with the smile says to guy on his knees:
"Have you lost your mind, or were you just dropped as a child?"
Guy who's had enough says to girl who's had enough:
"Might as well give up, the future would look better from above."

CHORUS:
And if you just don't get it, raise your hand.
An evil voice is giving us commands.
Me and Dusty dance the Miserabilist Tango,
to Chopsticks badly played on an out of tune piano.

Girl who's seen it all says to guy who's seen it all:
"Are we naturally unkind or haven't you noticed that something's wrong with our lives?"
Guy who's had enough says to girl who's had enough:
"Might as well give up, the future would look better from above."

(chorus)

Me and Dusty dance the Miserabilist Tango
to Chopsticks badly played on an out of tune piano.


BAD VIBRATIONS

All this talk about Adam and Eve
doesn't cut the mustard with this little piggy.
When people start going ballistic, it's just not cricket.

All these words best left unsaid, should have been said
long time ago, no question.
When people start firing missiles, that's not tactile.

CHORUS:
With all these germs about, with all these germs about…
Feel the hurt… feel the pain… feel the bad vibrations.
Feel the hurt… feel the pain… feel the bad vibrations.

All this talk about love and peace
doesn't make much sense to this old soldier.
When people start losing the handle, that's my angle.

All these words best left unsaid, should have been said
long time ago, no question.
When people start firing missiles, that's not tactile.

(chorus)


LOTTERY WINNERS ON ACID

If she get a black eye, I want a black eye,
if she get a splinter, I want a splinter too.
If she get arrested, I want arrested,
if she go tripping, I go falling over.

CHORUS:
We walk through the street like lottery winners on acid,
everything she say I was thinking anyway.
We walk through the street like lottery winners on acid,
everything she say I was thinking anyway.

If she like Gordons, I like Gordons,
if she like the black stuff, I like the black stuff too.
If she get a disease, I want a disease,
if she go tripping, I go falling over.

(chorus)


OPPOSITE ENDS 

Done something real bad this time,
practically signed my own death warrant.
I was sweating like a virgin on death row.
Just the two of us left in this rusty old tub,
neither overjoyed to be out of love.
It takes one black cloud to spoil the bright day.
I was the black cloud, she was the bright day.

Isobel, remember how it used to feel?

CHORUS:
You and I are not the screaming animals with yellow jealous eyes,
are not the decoration of the battle last night.
When we wake up in the morning both at opposite ends,
wake up in the morning both at opposite ends.

You look so good I wanna see hundreds and thousands of you,
crawling through the dirt like a crusade of half dead bluebottles.
Our brains leave their skulls,
walk the tightrope of our rabbit-in-the-headlight stares,
melting together like pink and white marshmallows.
Yes I was a fool and yes you are a fool,
but who can name a penny that has not been in the pocket of a fool?

Isobel, remember how it used to feel?

(chorus)

Isobel… Isobel, remember how it used to feel?


HOWLING AT THE MOON WON'T MAKE IT BETTER

Though we seldom get annoyed, that's our choice on this bad-ass earth.
On a scale of one to ten, let's pretend life's a six or seven.

CHORUS:
Could have sworn that I was right… over…
Could have sworn that I was right… over…

Tornadoes are nothing compared to the power,
the greed, the chaos, the nightmare recurring.
Howling at the moon won't make it better.
Idiots, animals, klutzes, buffoons,
Philistines, sodomites, everywhere, everywhere.
Howling at the moon won't make it better.

When I looked into her eyes I was surprised to see signs of life.
I'm her liver, I'm her lung… I bring this message: "have some fun."

(chorus)

Don't leave me in this world.

(chorus)

Light, recurring, fast, recurring,
broken, choked, hideous and severed.
Howling at the moon won't make it better.


THE GREAT UNKNOWN

Only when they know... you are impossible...
More so than the arrival of a little fat greek...
With bow and arrow...
Only then can this old dog get up and go...
To where there's no no no no no... tomorrow...
Just the answer no...
Just the answer no...

Everything's so big... collosal...
Everything's so big big big... collosal...
Don't expect I'll reach... thirty...
If this is life on Earth...
Hasta la vista...

CHORUS:
Still waiting to be collected from lost property...
Forsaken, and stripped of dignity...
Attractive head seeks guillotine...
Ready now to face the great unknown...
Happens to the best of us I know...
Happens to the best of us I know...

Everybody loves... a crisis...
Everybody loves loves loves... a crisis...
The meaning of the word... is no joke...
Left my suicide note... by the TV remote...

(chorus)


BOMBAY SAPPHIRE COMA

Wanted to go to the white fluffy clouds,
in a Bombay Sapphire coma.
Been several shades of broken ever since I disowned her.
I wanted to be with my woman in a sensimilia haze,
I wanted to go to the white fluffy clouds and start the happy days.

I was just a has been, gone there, done that, got the t-shirt.
She laughed when I told her I was seriously hurt.
She said: "Don't want your money… pain comes free.
You hooked up with pain when you hooked up with me."

(repeat all)

She said: "Don't want your money… pain comes free.
You hooked up with pain when you hooked up with me."


SIX SHOULDERS, SIX STONE

For you my feather, the war is over.
Six shoulders divide your six stone.
Jesus Christ, the coward, only lasted forty days…
my baby went all the way.

CHORUS:
Everything's funny when the reaper's lost in your neighbourhood.
Now your cortege awaits outside the gates.
You're going to hell's kitchen,
I'll see you in a couple of hours time.
It's a perfect day to kiss the earth goodbye.
You are the perfect reason why
I won't be far behind.
I'm under the next train out of here…
It's a perfect day to kiss the earth goodbye.
You are the perfect reason why.

In the last few days you were full of the joys of emptiness.
You built a desert in your kitchen.
Jesus Christ, the coward, only lasted forty days…
my baby went all the way.

(chorus)

Are you happy now?
Six shoulders, six stone.


OUT OF AFRICA

I struggle to think of a beastlier beast than the beast I became...
Gone to the pub in pyjamas, pyjamas and slippers again.
Driven only by the Herculean desire to fill my body with anything
that helps me forget it's a body in the first place.
Gone to the pub in pyjamas, pyjamas and slippers again.

CHORUS:
Humankind… never stood a chance…
Too scared to leave the house…
Far from the madding crowd…
Gonna be a fatcamp hero now…
So began… the chronicles of man…
This weak distorted thing—evil, and all that jazz—came out of Africa.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road wherever the damn thing goes.
Winter just hangs around like a smoker's cough of sixty years.
Stumbling through a no-frills life with a chip on my shoulder
the size of an iceberg.
Winter just hangs around like a smokers cough of sixty years.

(chorus)

Does winter just hang around like a smoker's cough of sixty years?

We go where the bad people go…
Gonna be a fatcamp hero now…

So began… the chronicles of man…
This weak distorted thing—evil, and all that jazz—came out of Africa.


All lyrics are, naturally, copyright the band.

Thanks to inaudible.co.uk and the band for saving me much typing!

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