Tribes :: "We Were Children"

Last January the Vaccines stood on the stage of the Bowery Ballroom and played B-side "We're Happening". The chorus screamed the eponymous lyric. It was deathly appropriate for a British band about to storm the wallets and music libraries of US music consumers, especially because they knew something we did not: They had one of the best rock records of 2011. Next in line for this dramatic irony is Tribes, a London four-piece so steeped in Britpop it will make you dig up some old Suede record you haven't listened to since 1994. Though Tribes is considerably rougher than the aforementioned or Manic Street Preachers, bands that so defined the rise of the genre but weren't Oasis. On "We Were Children", arguably the band's thesis statement, Tribes chants, "Oh no, stranger, you're just like me/these things happen/we were children in the mid-90s." Now, loosely interpreted, this could apply to just about everyone you are friends with, one of those broad swaths of nostalgia that make you think about singing "Champagne Supernova", your first cheap beer and riding around in the backs of cars. It is instantly memorable, a series of modulated pitches that seep in with the the immediacy of a spilled drink in a shag carpet. You're almost helpless in the face of it. Or, put another way, this is happening.

Listen :: Tribes - "We Were Children"

The band plays Mercury Lounge and Glasslands (both with the stunning We Barbarians) next Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9. Their debut record will be out in January.

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