Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rocks with Passion
Kristen A. Spangler | Cork, Ireland | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Undoubtedly, many of those who know Tribe After Tribe have come to love them through Robbi Robb's association with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament. Robb is the vocalist of Ament's Pearl Jam side project Three Fish. This is how I came to know about the band. I am a huge fan of Ament's bass playing, and was very curious about the Three Fish project. When it was finally released, I did some research on the other members, Richard Stuverud and Robbi Robb. Being a massive fan of world music, I was equally curious about Robb's earlier work, and figured I had to delve into Tribe After Tribe, particularly after having seen a picture of Ament wearing a TAT t-shirt.
Wow! What a find! Tribe After Tribe is one of those bands where you never forget where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard them. I picked up their self-titled release second hand when I was a student in Seattle. Practically the day after, I purchased "Love Under Will". I must say that, despite my love for the self-titled release, "Love Under Will" is a far superior album. It is heavier, grittier, and more empassioned. The vocals are charged with electricity; the music is driven, powerful and technically accomplished; and the production sharpens the edges which occur naturally in the band's songs.
The album opens with the anthemic "Hold On", which should be on everyone's driving songs CD. More of a love song to South Africa than to any one person, the chorus gets stuck in your head, but so does the opening riff, an acoustic guitar bit taken straight out of Soweto music. Robb's bass drives this song, as it does most of the album, but the key to "Hold On" is its build up: from its very beautiful, soft acoustic beginning, the song only continues to gather pressure until finally bursting at its end.
The second song on the disc, "Ice Below", is equally amazing. Delayed, layered vocals cause this track to stand out, as they weave and swirl their way around minor key bass and guitar tracks. Behind it all lopes strong African percussion, pulling together a mix which can almost describe this track as South African grunge.
African percussion also makes an appearance in the track "Proud and Beautiful", which has a snaking bass line full of hammer-ons and harmonics. The arrangement of the song, with its tribal drums, background chanting and spiralling melodies, befits a song about maintaining pride in a South Africa riddled with drugs and violence.
Of course, Tribe After Tribe's politically charged lyrics have naturally caused some to claim them as South Africa's U2. This comparison, however, could not be further from fact. Although lyrically similar in that both bands tend to deal with politicised issues, Tribe is heavier, meatier and yet, more ethereal. In recent releases, most of which are under the moniker TAT but are mostly Robb's working with other musicians, Tribe After Tribe's music is highly spiritualised, hypnotic tribal rock. This does not negate the worth of "Love Under Will"; it merely enhances it by showing what Robbi Robb built upon."
Gary Davis | Culver City (Los Angeles), CA | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brilliant! The best work of art you will ever buy for a penny! (If the Marketplace price stays there ;-)
Quite aside from the PJ connection, Tribe After Tribe has always been a favorite band for me. As their own description claims, "combines world rhythms with psychedelic guitar" and the great singing voice of Robbi Robb. The opening track "Hold On," and "Nikita" ("What do you want, what do you want from US?") are anthems for the "prog rock" of the mid-90's.