Having released their debut album 'Baby' at the beginning of 2012, Camden outfit Tribes haven't rested on their laurels bringing out a follow up. Support band aficionados may have caught them in the last few years with the likes of The Kooks and Kaiser Chiefs, while anyone wishing to catch them in person now can take note of them currently touring the UK.
As you listen through 'Wish To Scream', the re-occurring thought is that Tribes may as well be Starsailor renamed - and not just because vocalist Johnny Lloyd at times sounds like James Walsh. Like the Wigan outfit there is a favouring of mid-tempo, radio-friendly guitar songs that are perfectly reasonable, yet extremely difficult to get enthusiastic about. The near-dozen tracks rarely establish themselves from one another, so where 'Get Some Healing' is nice enough and could encourage a sing-song, it struggles to really define itself against, say, 'Englishman On Sunset Boulevard'. The gospel choir on the latter could certainly have been omitted though. For the briefest of moments 'How The Other Half Live' sounds as though it could be a cover of Oasis' 'Supersonic', but Liam Gallagher's sneering attitude couldn't be much further from this polished production, while 'Looking For Shangri-La' fails to convince it is the anthem it wishes to be. This shouldn't be mistaken as saying the song is bad, just that there's a lack of verve that is prevalent throughout the record that makes it equally difficult to love or loathe the songs.
Albums of Note... Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned after a lengthy break, with Mosquito. It’s a marked step in the band’s evolution and a further step away from their punky roots. Mosquito has opened up further avenues of creative possibilities for a band that once seemed shackled by their arty roots and somewhat more importantly, Karen O now has blonde hair, now folks. That’s the big news here.
“The possibilities for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs now seem endless. The inclusion of Kool Keith's alter ego Dr Octagon on 'Buried Alive' is one such example. Although slightly scattergun in its approach, Mosquito almost feels like a record the band needed to make to reach the next stage of their evolution.”
Tribes formed in 2009 in Camden by Johnny Lloyd, along with Jim Cratchley (bass), Miguel Demelo (drums) and Dan White (guitar). They have built a following by shunning the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, instead preferring to build their fame by word of mouth. Their EP 'We Were Children' was recently chosen as DJ Zane Lowe's 'Hottest Record in the World' and they also have gained support from fellow DJ Huw Stephens, after recording a Maida Vale session at the start of 2011.
Continue reading: Tribes, Interview
'We Were Children' instantly brings to mind a flavour of the likes of Suede, Blue, Ocean Colour Scene and other 'nineties Britpop flavours, but that's by no means a criticism. The track sounds oaring loud verses with a contrasting catchy yet calmer chorus and obligatory guitar solo that then launches forward to a heavier version of the chorus. It may be brave to say, but 'We Were Children' is nigh on a 'Wonderwall' of its generation; it is short and snappy yet precisely formed, has already been Zane Lowe's Hottest Record In The World, and superbly announces the arrival of a band who, if they continue to churn out classics such as this, will be much loved and sung along to.
Perhaps a result of already being taken back to the 'nineties, Feeder spring to mind on hearing 'Girlfriend', another brief, verse-chorus-verse offering but again with a simple catchy chorus that declares Tribes' arrival to steal or at least share the manly, brit-pop revival-infused indie rock stage. 'Coming Of Age' then follows; an acoustic-guitar accompanied song that shows a more tender side to Tribes. The band may write with simple and predictable chord progressions and strumming patterns, but they're beneath nostalgic, youthful lyrics that everyone can relate to, sung through catchy, instantly like-able melodies, which makes their blend so endearing.
Continue reading: Tribes, We Were Children EP Review