For the inaugural edition of “Random Jam of the Week,” I thought we would start with a song that says a little something about us. Not in any kind of subtle or meaningful way, it’s really just that the chorus of this song goes, “Oh no stranger, you’re just like me. These things happen; we were children in the mid-nineties.” And WE grew up in the 1990s, and you’re kind of a stranger that we’d like to think is just like us… never mind. You might think this song says something else about us, like that picking a song by some band you’ve never heard of called “Tribes” that we can only promise you is “big in Britain” outs us as hipsters and music snobs. That may or may not be regrettably accurate. This probably won’t be the last RJOTW you’ve never heard. (Unless you have, in which case, welcome, fellow music snob!)
Tribes is from Camden, a district in London. “We Were Children” was the title track from their first EP released in 2011, and received modest circulation around the American interwebs. Meanwhile in the UK, it apparently made them a potentially big up-and-coming rock band (their debut full-length reached #20 on the British charts early this year). With good reason, too: I defy you to resist the magnetic melody of “We Were Children” when the band quiets down for the refrain. Driven by crashing cymbals and guitar feedback, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff. But if you do something well, it’s less important that you’re doing something original. Tribes isn’t about originality. Tribes is about adorably accented Englishmen singing vaguely reminiscent lyrics about robbery, bullying, and regret, in falsetto. Don’t act like you’re not on board.