Tribes – We Were Children EP (Island Records)
June 9, 2011 by Joe Turner
We have all heard the story before, reiterated hundreds of times over the pages of rock magazines and websites throughout history. Every so often a new band emerges who attempt to capture and surpass the sound of their predecessors.
Throughout the past decade bands have struggled to emulate the sound or success of indie heavyweights like The Libertines and Oasis. The Arctic Monkeys have risen closest to the challenge but couldn’t quite hit the heights that the debut album promised. Tribes are the latest band to face the gauntlet but will this rock n’ roll fairytale have a happy ending?
Tribes, a Camden four-piece with a very hard name to google, are quickly rising through the ranks of up and coming bands and hopefuls.
As soon as I heard they were from Camden I immediately expected to hear a jaded, indier-than-thou attitude filtered through songs complaining about how tight their jeans are. Thankfully I couldn’t have been further from the mark.
Yes they do have an attitude and you can hear it from the offset with opening track “We Were Children” brimming with Gallagher-esque swagger. Full of catchy guitar riffs and a staple guitar solo to boot. I would like to call it the “Wonderwall” of this decade but the truth is its not. Johnny Lloyd’s vocals bear more resemblance to The Pixies or T.Rex, the laid back almost lackadaisical feel epitomizes post-Doherty London, while the general air of dishevelment exhales pure Nirvana.
This isn’t Indie, this is grunge with a melody and it is absolutely brilliant.
“Girlfriend” and the fantastic “Coming of Age” are packed with nostalgic, youthful lyrics reminiscent of the mid-nineties and sympathetic of a generation lacking that one special band. A gap that, so far, Tribes appear to have no problem filling.
The EP concludes with an acoustic demo of “We Were Children” that holds untempered fuzzy chords and wailing vocals packed with charm and endearing character and is the perfect end to journey.
Each track on the “We Were Children” EP is anthemic in its own right and it will be interesting to see if they can replicate this success over the course of a full-length album, but if they can, then there is no doubt in my mind that you will be hearing a lot more from Tribes in the future.