You should never judge a book by it's cover. This is definitely the case with Tribes. Aesthetically they look like a band who play dirty lo-fi and have been dressed themselves in a Urban Outfitters range called "Dirty Camden Urchins". However, they are much more than this. "Baby" is an album of surprises and much more complex than some of the more back to basics rock'n'roll going on at the moment. Tribes have moved one decade on from their competitors and the album bursts with bits of Bowie as well as the Pixies. But if you've actually heard them, you'll already known this.
They were tipped at the beginning of last year as one of the bands to watch, but clearly 2012 is going to be their year. Where Tribes differ from most other guitar bands right now is their championing of actual melodies. It's all very well being able to blast out a chorus, but if you only know 3 chords, where else are you going to go? Tribes lyrics also seem to have more grandeur about them. Instead of writing about girls and drink, they appeal to a higher power asking "what use is God if you can't see him?" ("Nightdriving") and even a lament about the state of the country in "Corner of an English Field". Tribes just seem to be a step ahead of the competition and seem to be reaching for something higher, yet still appeal. They still have the raw passion of other bands, but they seem have channelled it into something more polished. That's not to say this is a slick over-produced album devoid of emotion, it's in fact exactly the opposite. The emotion and passion that seeps through the guitar-line in "Himalaya" could make a grown man cry. This is a big album and one that doesn't care anything about trends, and is all the more original for it.
Listen to Himalaya