Review: Tribes - Baby

 The rise of Camdem's Tribes is an innocent enough story just as the rise of any of their indie rock peers. Release a debut EP, have a single which is then obsessed over by Radio 1's Zane Lowe, play a bunch of festivals and support bigger indie bands. And now comes the time for their debut full length Baby to be released. And the ultimate response to this is to state that the album is good, but it's hard to find anything about it that truly makes it stand out.

 Not that I want to dismiss this album entirely, because the good moments do come thick and fast and it will be difficult for any listener to not find themselves headbanging or tapping their feet in anyway to the irresistibly poppy hooks that manage to create Whenever and We Were Children.  The entire album is effective in seeing Johnny Lloyd, Dan White, Miguel Demelo and Jim Cratchely all rhythmically managing to capture the dwindling and distortion fueled sound coupled with the sophisticatedly produced and more tranquil verses that made all alt rock fans fall in love with Pixies, demonstrated best in tracks like Himalaya, Nightdriving and Halfway Home, a song that sees this wall of beauty and distortion being built up from an atmospherically chilling serene opening before transforming itself into a warm heaven of indie riffing and fuzz.
 Moments like these also reveal an influence from Nirvana in their final stages when the raw frenzied alt rock riffs are considered. However, these harder hitting moments are more effective in conveying a sense of warmth within the album.
 Though, no matter what emotional state the group wish to create, the delicate vocals of Lloyd always manage to be fitting, as they manage to convey an melancholic atmosphere that shapes Alone Or With Friends so successfully, or more uplifting vocals which suit Walking In the Street much better, that song being the album's poppiest and most-radio friendly song, which still manages to be cool, due to the insanely catchy drumming from Demelo.
 So, while Baby is by all means a great album to listen to, with an extraordinary talent put into each song, which all succeed in being hook filled, chilled out indie rock tunes, listeners may be left wondering if they've heard anything that can be seen as groundbreaking and not having been done millions of times before and the answer is quite clearly, no. It's hard to think of anything on this album that couldn't be found on Pixies' Surfer Rosa, Nirvana's In Utero and perhaps Radiohead's Pablo Honey being done better. Still, this is no means to reject this band at all. As we continue to have new hit-and-miss mainstream indie rock surround us with every month, Tribes is definitely a band that are of the hit selection for now, and could seriously go on to turn that hit into a serious punch to pack.

Tribes' Baby is out now via Universal Island Records. The band will tour the UK in February as part of the NME Awards Tour 2012 with Two Door Cinema Club, Metronomy and Azealia Banks.