Tribes - Baby

An impressive debut
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There’s a late night ache that flows through the eleven songs on this debut full-length from London four-piece Tribes. While its title suggests birth and beginnings, in fact, ‘Baby’ is more concerned with death and endings, its eleven subdued anthems reflecting on the present in terms of a long-gone past. “Oh no, stranger, you’re just like me,” croons Johnny Lloyd on the slacker swagger of Bolan-esque lead single ‘We Were Children’, “these things happen, we were children in the mid-’90s.”

Looking back is abundant on this album - a wistful melancholia that’s in inherent in Lloyd’s impassioned, sad rasp, but which is propelled by the jangly, soaring guitars of Dan White. Much of it was inspired by the death of Lloyd’s childhood friend, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s Charlie Haddon, but these songs aren’t about him per se; that said, his loss - alongside the loss of innocence, of youth, of love - permeates this record, from the direct mention of his death in ‘Corner Of An English Field’ through to ‘Halfway Home’’s romantic, rose-tinted ruminations on lost childhood and the sigh-filled existential angst of ‘Nightdriving’.

There’s a hint of Suede here, minus the urban decay, in the music’s soaring poignancy, though the comparisons that have been made with Nirvana aren’t really apparent - these song are neither heavy nor nihilistic enough. But who cares when you have the glorious, youthful abandon of ‘When My Day Comes’ and the strained regret of closer ‘Bad Apple’? An impressive debut.

7/10

Words by MISCHA PEARLMAN

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