Tribe Society released their new mixtape on the third of this month after waiting over a year since the premiere of their EP Lucid Dreams. 2016 saw them tour internationally with Collective Soul, and before that performing on stage with The 1975, Twenty One Pilots and X Ambassadors. The band have been praised by established publications such as Billboard and The Huffington Post for their sound, which is a combination of hip-hop and pop. Their latest release We Sell Drugs is a ten-track work that shows the band’s versatility and prowess, along with their creative compositional skills.
The opening track Nu Vibe had a good sonic atmosphere with the singer on this particular track displaying excellent control over his falsetto. My only issue was that the vibrato in that higher register sounded unsure, which could just mean some more practice singing extended phrases in that range, either way he hit every note perfectly which is a great effort in itself. I enjoyed the effect on the vocals in Lonely People as well as the unexpected chordal structure in the choruses. The song was expertly constructed as well, since the last chorus didn’t exceed the sound level of the previous choruses but still popped because the third verse was taken down far enough to make it seem like the last chorus had more energy. Smoke Out The Window was the track where I realised that there are actually multiple vocalists in this group, which is a great way of keeping listeners on their toes. Although I thought this track sounded a little too similar to the previous one, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the groovy synth sounds in it.
Garden of God used a bit of dissonance in the synth which I thought really added to the lyrical content of the piece. I was intrigued by the strange pronunciation of words in the first verse of Disorder and thought the musical sounds that seemed random but not out of place added to the idea of chaos portrayed in the lyrics. We Sell Drugs began with whistling and used a chorus of voices, both of which enforced the idea and lyric of ‘we’ and made the track super catchy. Problems took on a more bluesy vibe than the previous tracks with the vocalist playing on the blues third and placing a rough quality to the melody. The slow tempo of Secrets made the suave beat more pronounced, with the atmosphere of the track reminding me of those alien invasion scenes in popular film.
The penultimate track had the same slower tempo as the previous song but with a more distinct club vibe and some catchy ‘yeahs’ in the chorus. Faded Circle did what its namesake suggests and brought the album back to the same vibe as it began. The melody had sustained notes and used an echo effect, with rests scattered around just enough to make the track unpredictable. Even though I liked the echo effect on the vocals (which actually sounded like a cross between auto tune and echo), I thought it would have been more effective to use it just on the verses or just the choruses, and not both. This would give either sections distinctive sounds from the rest of the track.
Overall I quite enjoyed Tribe Society’s sound and their mixtape. There were a few aspects which could have been improved on, but also could just be a matter of personal taste. I give the album 9/10.
You can purchase the mixtape here