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Tribes - Baby

Rather than trying to re-write music, Tribes are simply proving that they have an ear for writing brit-poppy rock.

Sometimes new music can become a very complex and confusing business indeed, where more importance seems to lie with the number of adjectives you can cram into an album description than the actual music. Thank goodness for Tribes’ debut album then, which is subject to a distinct lack of silly descriptive nonsense. Unlike many of the overly arrogant rock revivalists of the moment, who are all talk and terribly tight trousers (yes, Viva Brother, back to the naughty step please) Tribes seem pretty modest about their rock n’ roll credentials. They might have the white van and the grubby cigarette scented leather jackets, but their first album is titled ‘Baby’. It’s all refreshingly very straightforward.

Included on the album are the perhaps misleadingly scuzzy first demos we heard at the beginning of last year. ‘We Were Children’, and the equally rowsing single ‘Sappho’ stand out as strong live favourites. The wonderful ‘Nightdriving’ - an angry, heartfelt song about the band’s feelings about the elegy read at Charlie Haddon of Ou Est La Swimming Pool’s funeral – also feels raw and genuine. All complete with howling choruses and some decent, if a little clichéd songwriting, the three demos are still brilliant, but do sell Tribes as yet another band trying to emulate grunge. Think of them instead as grunge canapés, tasty samplers before the main, far more varied feast of what Tribes really have to offer.

On ‘Baby‘ Johnny Lloyd really begins to shine as a true front man, with his howling, deliciously strained vocals that are more 90’s Britpop than anything else. In fact, on this album, we start to take Tribes far more seriously as a band. Stupid, meaningless adjectives are not needed, because our flannel-clad Camdenites have proved they are a force to be reckoned with. Rather than trying to re-write music, Tribes are simply proving that they have an ear for writing brit-poppy rock, and in summary, ‘Baby’ is a complete belter.

Tags: Tribes, Reviews, Album Reviews

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