Tribes
Baby


3.5
great

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
January 19th, 2012 | 15 replies | 3,356 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: F**k the 80’s – this is the 90s revival!

On the chorus of the splendid glam-grunge of ‘We Were Children’, Johnny Lloyd bawls “We were children in the mid-nineties”. Inconsequential is not the right word, as his call back to ’94, Britpop glory, laddish culture and the slew of young British bands making guitar rock popular again at the time is echoed throughout the Camden gang’s 2012 debut, Baby.

Tribes’ influence traces back further than when they were just in nappies; as the earlier grunge explosion and one of the genres forerunners, Pixies, spring to mind especially. For some, this influence, worn as nakedly on Tribes’ collective sleeve as it is, will surely put-off desire to listen. In some ways, it’s fair to argue that Tribes aren’t doing anything new – that they have pilfered their ideas and styles off generations of rock n rollers and don’t deserve praise.

But, what’s the point in crying if the milk hasn’t even been spilt. Sure, the percolating drone-guitars of snappy opener, ‘Whenever’ call to mind the Pixies; the anthemic ‘We Were Children’ the trashy-glam of early Suede – but, regardless of their purloined tones, they remain brash, gleaming editions of guitar rock – a genre many in the indie community are calling for the return of, after the previous couple of years’ seeming obsession with incorporating warbling 80s synths into their rock repertoire.

That’s when Baby begins to make sense – it’s not original or unique but that’s why it works. It picks up where Britpop’s prime left off, with a youthful, guitar based exuberance and nary a filler track present. It doesn’t require time to work out, just an understanding of British rock history or possibly just some level retrospective lust for bands like Pulp at their prime. It’s an instantaneous hit of brightly-lit rock glory and shines through its antecedent issues as such.

As soon as the infectiously gnarled, grunge-lite riffery of ‘Sappho’ ring out, originality’s superiority seems to shatter and clarity arrives as its replacement – this isn’t original or new because it doesn’t need to be – its chords and stadium-sized vocals seem to say f**k the 80’s revival; this is the 90’s revival! What’s more, Baby is consistent enough to stand proud in this supposed wave, and even though Tribes’ ambition seems somewhat too broad and overshot at times - tackling God, youth, and ancient Greek lesbians all on one record – the anthems shine through after a few spins and one thing is made clear: Yeah, it’s been done before but why should that mean that it can’t be done again?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Horsehammer
January 19th 2012



550 Comments


*sniff

i remember when no reviving was needed for music. 80's kicked ass. only time period hip-hop ever appealed to me, now its just dope

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love 80s (seriously, some people on Sputnik KNOW this). I was saying fuck the 80s is what Tribes' are metaphorically saying. Can't say the same for hip-hop - one of my big no-go areas.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



6366 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You should apply for contrib, if you ever get the chance, you know?

This is pretty meh so far...

Digging: Shackleton - Deliverance Series No. 1

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the contrib-support. Nearly at 100 reviews and i'm covering new stuff now so if some kind authority wanted to make me contrib that would RULE. But as far as i know it's something you don't pick but get picked for.

We disagree about the album tho haha.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review as ever Tom. I'm currently working on my own rather less positive interpretation of this.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This has had a cold (but admitedly small) reception from Sputnik so far. I'm guessing you've seen NME's review; handing out a 9. I obviosuly disagree with such a high score but I could still identify with some of the things they offered as positives. Essentially though, I just had a lot of fun with this record.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah I saw that review, which I thought was ludicrous quite frankly. I just never found myself fully enjoying this, despite the fact that it has a few pretty good songs.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



6366 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's just so standard (for lack of a better word). Not bad or anything, but I'm looking for something more and I don't find it.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, their review was way over the top ( yet i still buy NME : ( ) ha. You see, i'm the opposite - can't see why people don't enjoy this. Enjoying this more than Howler's debut to be honest.

fsharptrit0ne
January 19th 2012



4814 Comments


sup tom, good to see you reviewing. was actually reading a couple of your bowie reviews the other day

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2012



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah, the old Bowie ones - proud of them if i'm allowed to act like a smug git for a moment. Thanks for dropping by, dude, ha.

Beauers
January 20th 2012



242 Comments


After what seems like two years of hype leading up to this they had a long long way to fall if it was a poor album. In the end, it's pretty good, if nothing special, but most the songs are the ones they've been playing for the last two years anyway, and I do love this style of rock. Interested to see how they go from here.

Olson
April 24th 2012



93 Comments


dunno why this band are so hyped by NME

chips85
September 23rd 2012



136 Comments


they're just looking for the next arctic monkeys, music magazines are all shit and know nothing.

himalaya is a great song though

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They're obsessed with the myth of the 'Great British Guitar Band,' they'll jump on anything. Other examples include Viva Brother, The Vaccines, The Maccabees, etc.



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