Since the Enlightenment happened, two things ensued: churches lost power and people in tricorne hats declared that Brave Men Can’t Party. Yes, because brave men are designated drivers. They take one (non alcoholic) for the team! No, wait, I’m rambling.
Brave Men Can’t Party is an EP by Tribal Fighters, not a philosophical question (although I must insist this should be tackled by greater thinkers than me – all 3 of you). It’s a slice of math rock for those of us starving for dreamy tapping, odd time signatures that can’t be played without spraining a wrist and the odd bit of droning that works as both a workout (think of the “badger badger badger” video) and morning callisthenics.
So, yes, math rock, fretboard olympics and all that. You want a simple word to describe the music of Tribal Fighters?
When tapping is not used to defeat Satan in backstreet rock challenges (JB and KG know it), it has the property of creating some strange, ethereal sounds (let’s call them ‘harmonics’ although that’s not the term). ‘Babes vs Hunks’ stumbles awkwardly out of a closet after spinning the bottle resulted in him (or her) getting lucky with that secret crush. ‘Tree Fiddy’ is a race between two squirrels in the desolate, naked branches of the autumnal trees (one of them is a flying squirrel – the Petauristini cheat!) and ‘Pizza teeth’… I’ve tweeted to the band saying that this is a great song, homaging for 2 nanoseconds the theme tune of Knight Rider then prowling the low lit streets of late 90s Los Angeles in a Penny Farthing bicycle. It makes more sense when you listen to it, I swear. If not, then let’s say ‘Pizza Teeth’ sways, dances, jumps and pulls perfect Arabesques, never losing grace.
‘Weaked it’ is a bit melancholic (well, for a few moment, hey) but picks up pace, steadily and quite confident. ‘Equations’ is as intricate as the description, feeling like a barrage of 30 double integrals you need to finish in a Sunday morning (whoa, flashback!). Again, it’s a happy mood permeating the walls of the speakers and emanating from Tribal Fighters‘ instruments, so all remains a fun affair.
There are three (3) remixes in Brave Men Can’t Party. Veí takes a stab at ‘Equations’, reducing it from integrals to bite sized derivatives, easier to move around, still summing up to an approximate of the original. Borland goes on a road trip with ‘Weaked it’, taking a leisure 80s pace through the mountains (11 minutes! Zoinks, yo!). The Narrows disassemble ‘Babes vs Hunks’ completely, pixellating the essence of the track and creating a strange, cubist collage with enough teeth (not pizza, more like cannelloni) to leave a mark. Oh, by the way, these remixes are ONLY available on the physical copy, so consume mass quantities.
So, Tribal Fighters, math rock for the office worker that looks at the window and sees the shapes in the clouds racing a death rally. It makes more sense when you listen to it. I swear.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López