Album Review: Tragedy – I Am Woman

Tragedy have been on the go for some time now and are a staple on our live calendar (coming around again soon, in fact). I Am Woman continues their mission to blend classic rock and roll tunes with heavy metal, paying tribute to the original artists. Sure, they’re a comedy act but they’re no parody. These guys hold the original versions in high regard, while having a knack of turning them into something utterly headbang-worthy.

While they’ve not released a bad album yet, the draw of each release is largely down to familiarity with the source material. This is where Weird Al started to lose it for me. His parodies are generally contemporary and as the years progressed and I paid less and less attention to the shit in the charts, I couldn’t tell a parody from an original song. No such issues with Tragedy as they generally focus on songs from the disco and classic rock eras of the 60s, 70s and early 80s. When music was great. Cheesy, but great.

I Am Woman is themed in that it includes a bevy of classic songs by female artists, something that won’t bother a band who are more than happy to camp it up on the stage. Hell, their best known song to date is probably their storming (pun intended) version of “Raining Men”. Get ready to add another baker’s dozen plus one to your list of favourite disco rock cover songs.

Tragedy’s strength is in treating each song individually. Sometimes they go with the groove of the original, sometimes they knock it sideways. Some songs just need a few heavy drums and a guitar riff, others are massively reworked. And then there’s the trademark mashup where they perfectly blend the song they’re covering with a metal classic. This hasn’t been done better than in “Goldfinger”. Yes, I believe this is even better than the aforementioned “Raining Men”‘s Slayer homage. “Goldfinger” is just so much more subtle and made me laugh out loud when I heard it the first time.

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Is it heretical to claim that some of the songs benefit from the additional rockage? Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop” really sounds so much more meaty (not a reference to the original video which is well worth a watch) with Tragedy’s chops all over it. “Respect” is a bloody tune, so I can’t claim that Tragedy have bettered it, but what they have done is let Marcy Harriell do the vocals and that woman can belt them out. Much as I’m sure the boys could do a decent job, and hopefully will if it makes the set list for the tour, respect (ahem) to Ms Harriell’s input.

The classic tune from Flashdance must surely make it into the live show as it’s just begging for a set piece (as well as being a great song), while “All I Wanna Do” sounds like it was written by Motley Crue.

I’m very tempted to say that this is the best album from Tragedy to date, but I do think this is partly down to the selection of tracks they’ve clad in steel. Musically it’s great, it’s fun, it’s funny without disrespecting some quality classic tracks, and I just can’t wait to see them belt these songs out live.

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I Am Woman is out on March 3rd

Check out all the bands we review in 2023 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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March 22, 2024 2:35 PM

[…] With the band due to decimate the UK once again over the next couple of week (and the wonderful Ward XVI in their wake), we took time to chat disco/metal with frontman Mo’Royce. Tragedy have been laying waste to the metal world for many years now, and last year released what some (that is, us) reckon is their best album to date – I Am Woman. Insert cheeky link to our review here. […]