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Tragedy, the self-proclaimed "All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees and Beyond", are back with another platter of metalized takes on a variety of already cheesy, and not so cheesy, classic hits of yore. While their band name might open them to all kinds of journalistic puns, I'm sure this US crew openly invite and welcome such quips with open arms. It's all part of their ludicrous and convivial metal take on 70s and 80s classics. Some might instantly label their covers a tragedy, and no doubt travesty, but it's undeniably great fun. Part homage, a tad gimmicky and with a mild essence of novelty, plus healthy dose of parody, Tragedy's music brings a smile to my face. Even more so in the context of their live shows, which are one big party of metalized merriment. In just a recorded format? Inevitably, it loses some of the fun... but this is still an undeniably jovial outing for the band... as much as it is cringe-inducing!

Out and out cheesy takes on their chosen 'victims' are loaded with all kinds of clichéd metal traits, and with an overt Spinal Tap vibe... but that's not a criticism. It's precisely what Tragedy are all about. Entertainment and unpretentious revelry. This is intentionally humorous, while simultaneously being a respectful homage. In this, they succeed bigtime, and far more so than the pointless, misogynistic hair metal parody merchants known as Steel Panther.

So, who gets the Tragedy treatment this time around? Well, the Bee Gees feature, of course, with their take on 'Stayin' Alive'. The late, former artist formerly known as Prince has his 'Little Red Corvette' metalled-up. Madonna's 'Borderline', Lipps Inc.'s 'Funkytown' and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street' have also been remoulded in metal stylings. Rod Stewart's 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' is an unexpected highlight of the album. Then there's 'Never Gonna Give You Up', the Stock Aitken Waterman defecation originally mediated by manufactured pop vehicle Rick fucking Astley. And, by fuck, they've made this one work brilliantly! There are others, of course, including album closer 'Dear Santa'... which is kind of weird on an album released two months after Christmas. However, while this might be a little seasonally misplaced, that's as redundant as questioning whatever the fuck impelled Tragedy to cover Rick fucking Astley. Or any of the others. Or why Tragedy exist as a band, doing what they do, in the first place.

There's great musicianship throughout, a nice sounding production, and styling their album artwork and accompanying booklet around the 1972 sex manual, 'The Joy of Sex' completes the overall cheesy vibe perfectly. Tragedy's latest is the epitome of cognitive dissonance; this is simultaneously one of the best and worst albums I've ever heard!
Beautyrock Records
Review by Mark Holmes
24th February 2017
1) Maneater
2) Baker Street
3) Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
4) Funkytown
5) Little Red Corvette
6) Borderline
7) Stayin' Alive
8) Never Gonna Give You Up
9) Dress You Up
10) Physical
11) Dear Santa
"Tragedy's latest is the epitome of cognitive dissonance; this is simultaneously one of the best and worst albums I've ever heard!"