Album Review: Tribes 'Baby'

15 March 2012

Written for TMRW magazine

Born and bred in London, the new ‘band of the moment’ Tribes have hit the indie-rock music scene with a bang.  Freshly formed in 2010, they are already making a name for themselves with their hit debut album Baby. Johnny, Dan, Miguel and Jim have already played an array of big named festivals such as Reading and Leeds. Between this and promoting they have still managed to find the time to support Kaiser Chiefs and The Kooks on their UK tours.

Right now, you are likely to find them performing alongside Metronomy and Two Door Cinema Club on the NME awards tour. The album, produced by Mike Crossey (which will explain the Arctic Monkeys and Razorlight sound) is not dissimilar to some nineties Britpop bands, Blur is everywhere in these songs. It boasts lyrical genius and feet stamping rock tunes throughout, immediately making you want to move on to the next melodically pleasing track.

While there is already a whole host of eagerly awaited albums from the likes of The Vaccines and Mumford &Sons for 2012, Tribes could easily overtake them all. Some may scoff at this statement but give them a chance. They are ready for the competition and scrutiny. The whole album reeks of different stories and anecdotes, you can almost imagine the tiny smoke filled grunge club in London where this band fit so comfortably.

Whenever kicks off the whole sound of Baby, the heavy guitar and drum is evident right from the word go, this is what their music is all about. Lead singer Johnny Lloyd oozes the rock and roller sound but there is not a Nirvana-esque scream in sight. While the next tracks are softer and focus more on the words, there is still the deep beat that all the songs contain.

Where the album becomes particular poignant is In the corner of an English Field, which is an elegy to the band’s late friend Charlie Haddon of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. This is the song that gives the album more depth and an insight into their personality and general lifestyle. “With the Devil trying to commandeer/ I’ve decided that I want to go home.” The satisfaction that all the band want is to be back in England makes the listening even easier, a credit to all the fans.

The track list shows they are more than just your average indie band, all the songs hold a particular sentiment. From Nightdriving, “What use is God if you can’t see him?” to Sappho “How d’ya tell a son that his daddy left his mum when she fell in love with a girl like you?” The lyrics are concise and thought provoking, the guitar and bass are just emphasising what the words are already saying.

There is no way of knowing if a band will be successful or not, but Tribes would be a safe bet for 2012. If there were just one album you should listen to, this would be it.

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