Monday, 30 January 2012


Artist: Tribes
Album: Baby
Release Date: 13/1/2012

Scruffy Camdennites' debut announces the arrival of a hugely anthemic new dawn for British guitar music

Some of the most prominent minds in music have recently declared that proper British, guitar- orientated, fist- pumping and stadium roar- along guitar music is in total demise, and sometimes it seems like it's hard to call their bluff. Bands like Foals and Wild Beasts, however wonderful, since 2008 have pulled guitar music in all kinds of angular directions. Manic Street Preachers, British Sea Power and of course The Arctic Monkeys are still about and making some of the most titanic rock powerhouses of the century, but there hasn't been a British rally call to rock, like "Up The Bracket" or "Whatever People Say I am..." since, well, those records themselves.

In 2012 however, Tribes present British rock music with a challenge to its current unfortunate status and a marvellous one at that. Appearing out of Camden in late 2010 in super tight, ripped- at- the- knees jeans, leather jackets and reeking of pure rock 'n' roll sweat, they LOOKED like the real deal. Early versions of "Whenever" and "Nightdriving" certainly hinted at potential to write both pulverising and heartfelt anthems. Expectations for the band's full- length debut "Baby" were most certainly high, and the range of brilliant, near- bonafide anthems on offer here only builds on the early promises of the band's sound.

"Whenever" is a rip- roaring opener, propelled by a musical driving force and riff that wouldnt seem out of place on Pixies' debut "Surfer Rosa." "We Were Children" follows it up, starting off like a younger and more stoned cousin of Weezer's "My Name Is Jonas." It then erupts into a fest of pounding drums and a climatic shout- a- long that suggests this song could very well become the band's defining live moment.

"Sappho" rumbles along with a glammy Suede- esque stomp and lyrics that deal with questionning the existence of God and spiritual reassurance, as frontman Johnny Lloyd wonders "How do you tell a child that there's no God up in the sky?". He's at it again on "Nightdriving", which seems to have grabbed a pair of stadium sized balls since first emerging as an acoustic demo, its enormous chorus amped up with epicly grundgy guitars as Lloyd asks "What use is God if you can't see him?"."Along or With Friends" is a twanging, stomping, country- inflected anthem that gets more bombastic  as it progresses, becoming the kind of slow- burning anthem that the Gallagher brothers are probably wishing they'd written for "What's The Story, Morning Glory?".

Consistently powerful, emotive and with endearingly enormous choruses to boot, it's not unreasonable to see "Baby" as the dawn of a new assault launched by British guitar music. It rolls with just as influence from the cock- surity of Brit- pop as it does from that of heartfelt grundge from across the pond, and it's a wholly bombastic marriage of sounds. "Baby" has set the bar for British rock 'n' roll in 2012, and it'll be pretty hard to beat.

Download: 1) We Were Children, 2) When My Day Comes, 3) Sappho
For Fans of: Girls, Oasis, Pixies


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