For many years RxR have been London's premier acoustically based 90s emo-punk revivalist band and, even though we’ve recently left the unplugged part of the band in the past, I still hold a very special place in my heart for acoustic based punk rock. I’m a lover of upbeat melodic acoustics and that leads me nicely to Tragical History Tour. A band that many friends who’ve toured up to Scotland have told me I should pay attention to. So pay attention I did. I’m a very big fan of the previously released Break-Ups and now I’m off to dive into the brand new EP, Come On Home, Hero.
‘Come On Home, Hero’ kicks in and I instantly notice around a 1000% increase in gravel in singer Derrick's voice. I like it a lot as the parallels between ultra gravel in vocals against well played acoustics is something I find very pleasing to the ear. It’s a fine line between that and just shouting while meat hammer mashing three chords on an out of tune six string you borrowed from your aunt's house - and this hits the sweet spot nicely. We’re also treated to a full band, something I’ve not had the pleasure of hearing before with Tragical History Tour and something that I hope to hear a lot more of in future. Adding acoustic bass, drums, strings and even electric lead guitar expands the scope of what could otherwise be a simple four chorder tune into something grander in scope than could be made alone.
‘Even Cowpunks Get The Blues’ is heartfelt honest acoustipunx and strips things back to one man and his guitar. Derrick may be singing about himself here but I find myself interpreting the lyrics and meaning onto my own life as if he’s singing to me, on a stool opposite, That’s really the mark of a great blues tune.
Lastly is a cover of ‘Change’ by Billy Liar. A chilled out relaxed tribute to a great song that works both as its own song, if you’ve never heard the original, and a fitting and respectful reworking if you already know it.
Overall as a showcase for the full band version of Tragical History Tour this works incredibly well. As much as I like the other two tracks on the EP, Come On Home, Hero is by far the standout track and something I’d love to hear a lot more of going forward. A great song with excellent arrangement, with a topic I’m sure all of us likely to read these words will relate to strongly. Padding out the EP are great accompaniments that showcase a breath of style and competence whatever the tempo and whatever the style. If, like me, you’re an acoustipunx connoisseur this has to be on your radar.
Stream and download Come On Home, Hero here: https://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/album/come-on-home-hero
Like Tragical History Tour here: https://www.facebook.com/tragicalhistorytour/
This review was written by Dan Peters.