If you think this is going to be a joyful and exciting review, think again. I see this album and compare it to the disgusting amount of indie rock drivel. Prior to this album's release, the band took time playing some of the middle range festivals in the UK such as Underage Festival, Bestival and Latitude (where I saw them live). The band play unoriginal love songs in an indie rock style with high production value and refined drumming. They are a traditional four piece and originate from Camden, London, how very interesting..
the opening track is called 'whenever'. It's a hip, less fun version of The Vaccines to be honest. With a grunge-esque guitar riff which sounds remarkably like early The Strokes and Interpol. They have that post-punk revival sound even if it's minimal. The song has lots of delay on the vocals and plenty of reverb, with a depressing vocal style much like Kurt Cobain, except.. British. The chorus sounds like McFly mixed with a bit of Sum41 which annoys the **** out of me!
Following this we hear 'We Were Children'. This track has a catchy guitar riff but it begins to annoy me after five to seven seconds when the vocals enter and the song deteriorates into a love song accompanied by a lack of musical skill and an experienced audio engineer. here's the thing.. There's mass amounts of indie rock bands, yet Tribes manage to make it big with a contract on Island Records. It's frustrating to know because this song is basically a simple, four chord love song with poor layered vocals and underlining bass.
'Corner of an English Field' is by far the best track on the album. The opening chords sound very Arctic Monkeys-esque with that slowed down drumming and smooth vocals. I can withstand this chorus because it's actually raised and features some decent guitar work for a brief five second moment. The lyrics could be written by a seven year old, that's being complimentary. The easy rhymes sound forced and pathetic. The song does have a happy vibe and a summer feel, so don't ask why this is being released in January.
The next track, 'Half Way Home' is far more melodic. it features that guitar work heard on the previous track. The last third is definitely better than the previous thirds on this track. The melodic feel and finger picking sound phony with the depressive vocal. 'Sappho' opens with "Met this girl last night...", this more a less sums up the album. The track then breaks indie records for having good dynamics and decent guitar riffs working with left sided guitar.
'Himalaya' has a decent sound, but it's nothing special. We've heard it all before in the last 10/20 years. Those comparing the sound to Nirvana need to get a hearing aid. The sound here is punk like, but ultimately, it's pop. It sounds very poppy ans that's something fans need to become accustom to. People have been recently comparing them to The Vaccines and The Maccabees, so the pop comparison is definitely there.
The back half is far worse than the first. It's plagued with well produced distortion and pop-punk structures in sound, lyrics and image. It's as if Blink-182 combined forces with Sum 41, creating the a super group, then allowing Busted & McFly in. 'Alone or With Friends' tricks the listener into believing the band are 'deep' and 'emotional'. The guitar progression works well and the drumming is the best on the album.. But the whole feel and image just rots my music filled brain with mimicry pretentious lyrics and tacky guitar solo's.
Without being too harsh on the young lads, I think the album is flawed by lack of life experience and musical influence (...and musical skill). One thing's almost guaranteed, the follow up will be substantially better than Baby.