Never Been Better
If there is any justice in the music world, Tribes will be one of the shoo-in successes of 2012.
The London band have seemingly arrived fully formed, with a debut album stuffed full of yearning, plangent songs of teenage kicks, angst-ridden love affairs and flirtations with life's dark side, wrapped up in killer seismic riffs.
Singer Johnny Lloyd appears both a natural-born storyteller and a rock star in waiting. He sounds as if he is bursting out of his skin on the edgy, urgent Whenever, while We Were Children casts a wistful eye back to a not-too-distant past: "We were children in the mid-Nineties."
Lloyd is laudably willing to tackle heavy subject matter. Corner Of An English Field is a eulogy for Ou Est La Swimming Pool singer Charlie Haddon, who committed suicide last year, while the louche Sappho's tale of transgression ("How do you tell a son that his daddy left his mum when she fell in love with a girl like you?") is worthy of early Suede.
There has already been a minor backlash against Tribes, with a few critics feeling their quiet-loud musical dynamic leans too heavily on Pixies – but if you're going to steal, steal from the best. Tribes should rule in 2012.