Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews at 2KHz at Church Studios, Crouch End, London
The moment that we catch here with Tribes is one that comes after one of those nights, preceded by one of those days that just kept escalating, getting sloppier and sloppier. The kind of day that started with a giddy decision to grab some noontime beers, for no other reason than that the sun was good and out and there was something in the air to be absorbed. Those beers went quickly and soon enough there's a beer run being done and the supplies get plentiful. Polishing those off, it's still just dinnertime - but all meals will be substituted this day. The gang doesn't even have to think about what's next. It's going to be more of the same. They're hitting the town. Everything's a blur after that and suddenly, with a pounding THUD, it's morning - or whatever's left of morning. The hangover patrol is on the loose and the escapades of the previous night start trickling in with buzzes and beeps, texts and dialogue. It was a shaggy night, full of decisions that will never get lived down, just written off to youthful exuberance. There was one girl who got ice cream thrown in her hair, without really deserving it. It's never easy to explain away that one - drunk or not - and it's part of what makes Tribes music so endearing.
They're young, unruly and mostly unapologetic - up and to a point. They're feeling that they might be getting to a point where atonement would feel kind of nice, where they'd like to turn themselves around. They reflect - here with these astute recognitions of what exactly they did wrong and copping to immaturity time and again, an action that feels like both a refusal to accept responsibility for their behavior and blaming it on the one thing that it must be. They're just boys, trying not to be boys. They seem to be overwhelmed by what passes for the new normality - fashion trends, attitudes, the handling of human emotions, respect for others, amongst other things. They're not sure where they fit in, so they do what comes to them most naturally and they just roll with it -- falling on their face and having to apologize frequently.
People are fake. People are immature. Some of those people are never going to change. The people that are loved aren't sure about how they feel about you. You could ask them, but they're going to lie to you, just to make sure you're hearing what you want to hear. They're just that kind. It makes you want to throw ice cream and regret it later. Lead singer Johnny Lloyd sings, "I wanna get drunk/Leave my brain outside/Don't wanna make friends with people I don't like/Coming of age now," on the song "Coming of Age," and it's a bit of a ruse. It's not happening anytime soon, but they'll get there after a few more mornings like this one.