Baby is an impressive first pursuit of album accolades for Tribes. The Camden 4-Piece seem to craft catchy songs but at the same time not lose the rock/indie edge which can make some rock outfits sound melodramatic. It’s always a good sign when you find it hard to juxtapose an album to any other on the scene and with Baby, I do struggle. If we were to regress a few years we could say the likes of Razorlight and maybe even The Strokes strike up a likeness. Certainly on songs like Halfway Home, front man Johnny Lloyd brings anguished and emotional yelps that Borrell would be proud of. The song has a Razorlight feel with heartfelt vocals sitting on top of subtle guitar picking and disjointed snares and high hats. It’s expertly done.
All the songs have a certain romance and charm creating an exciting musical atmosphere. Camden has a big influence on the songs, you can tell this in the way in which the songs are written. You feel like the stories are straight out of a Saturday night Camden drinking hole. This only adds to the rock and roll mixed with Indie vibe the album holds in abundance.
When I first heard single Sappho on the radio it was one of those stand up and take note moments. This felt like a fresh new sound made up of many old sounds flooding the market at that time. The lyric writing is not neglected either, the band have a knack of getting pictures through in their music. You only have to listen to Sappho and it’s twisting tale of meeting a mesmorising girl, including lines like ‘how do you tell a son that his daddy left his mum when she fell in love with a girl like you‘… I urge you to play this song loud and not feel good!
Nightdriving and Himalaya offer the more mellow and understated songs on the album. Whereas, in contrast, When My Day Comes and We Were Children offer the ‘turn the radio up and play air guitar’ feeling. Himalaya in particular would fit it with the New Arctic’s or Band of Skulls sound.
Corner Of An English Field withholds a more ‘pop’ vibe but even that is using the term loosely. Although with lines like ‘in the corner of an English field, with the devil trying to cut a deal..’ it more than holds its own against the faster numbers on this album.
All in all this album is bang on for the buck. Almost every track could be a single in its own right. Let’s hope Tribes stick to what they are good at – as this band have the potential to acheive great things and inject a well needed bit of ‘balls’ back into the current UK indie scene.