Spokespeople for a frustrated generation, Northampton punk trio, Tragic, are a band exceedingly comfortable in discussing the uncomfortable. The Mic’s Ed-in-Chief Olivia Stock delves beneath the angst-ridden bedlam of new single Dishonoured Gentleman to unveil an unapologetic bombardment on fragile masculinity, and a band set for punk’s big leagues.
A corrosive East Mids trio with world domination on their minds, Tragic have catapulted into 2021 with a raging inferno in their belly and a new bassist in tow. The result is perhaps the mob’s most accomplished single to date, Dishonoured Gentleman – a track that pushes hard at the band’s own boundaries, while sounding so firmly rooted and comfortable in its own skin. Hailing from Northampton, the band have been crafting their breed of thrashy, nihilistic noise-punk since 2018. Bored of the music they were listening to and playing at the time, Cameron Godfrey and Lewis O’Grady channelled their new-found adulation with punk culture into a plucky new project. A live debut at backstreet boozer, the Garibaldi Hotel, had the newly-come trio hooked, and the rest was sweet history.
Dishonoured Gentleman, the trio’s fourth single, sees the band hone their songwriting into a neat and tidy (if highly abrasive) package. Packed with heaps of their rough-and-ready charisma and inspired by the inequalities of modern day, it is an exorcism of furious energy at a time when it's sorely needed, served up raw and ungarnished. “Tears, they’re just tears/ but I’m holding them back in fear that someone’s gonna judge me/ Look down on me,” Godfrey seethes, arrestingly self-aware. Whilst the track shows the mob’s penchant for all things heavy, it does so with a Pixies-like sense of nuance, the thrashy bits cleverly threaded with moments of anguish and introspection. This is much more than just three teens jamming in a garage.
‘Beneath the corduroy and cigarettes are a band desperately committed to earnest songwriting.’
Like many acts right now, Tragic are trying to navigate the odd predicament of making and performing music during lockdown. Though live shows with East Mids heroes BLOOD-VISIONS and King Purple have seen them cultivate a small but mighty fan base, a mangled 2020 has incited a period of hefty metamorphosis. Formerly of Leicester riff-raff, Barracuda, bassist Bryan Walker joined the band in July of 2020, and lends his buzzy riffage on Dishonoured Gentleman. When fused with Godfrey’s yelpy delivery and the thunderous cymbals of Lewis O’Grady, the track awakens memories of a rock underground that emanated danger from the fringes of society as much as it dared listeners to wander off the well-lit avenues of the pop charts.
With influences like Meat Wave and Metz, it’s no wonder the band ooze this kind of boisterous, swampy spirit. As it coils and gnashes through various guises, Dishonoured Gentleman could be an off-cut from Strange Peace (2017). There’s a particular brand of no-nonsense songwriting, however, that sets this trio apart from their contemporaries; a frankness and fury that could only come from a millennial outfit. This is punk with a contemporary, acerbic bite. Amidst bristling guitars, Godfrey’s pleads of “I know it’s all been said before/ and preaching love is turning into a chore,” become rallies of a disillusioned youth – and what’s more punk than that.
Expertly crafted, Dishonoured Gentleman is an abrasive, DIY triumph. Beneath the corduroy and cigarettes are a band desperately committed to earnest songwriting, and from Godfrey’s Northants garage, they have managed to craft a track that perfectly fuses homegrown grit with topicality. Despite the song anchoring in the same formula that longtime fans will be familiar with, it achieves a new kind of amplitude that proves Tragic are only interested in refining and pushing their sound forward. Though 2021 may have taken the band’s name a smidge literally, the year looks set to be the young punk’s most corrosive to date. You’d be a fool to miss it.
Pre-save Dishonoured Gentleman here. The single will be available on all major streaming sites from January 16th.
Written by: Olivia Stock
Edited by: Louise Dugan
Images courtesy of Tragic.