I must admit that when Tribal Fighters‘ EP, ‘Brave Men Can’t Party’, first dropped into my inbox I did ignore it for a while; something about finding a new place to live, finishing university and trying to find a job all at the same time meant that my mind just wasn’t in it.

Now that I finally have found a few moments to sit down and enjoy, I am glad that I did. The music isn’t a standard fare of ‘relaxing’, but it does have an essence of hopefulness down in its roots.

The sound of the EP falls somewhere that could broadly be described as instrumental rock, perhaps verging towards math-rock, but never getting as experimental or irregular as some of the more alternative instrumental bands out there at the moment.

For this EP they seem to have completely shed vocals, which I for one am quite happy about. I had listened to a few of their demos, and didn’t feel the vocals sounded quite at home. I am glad they have shifted to the purely instrumental approach, although whether it will stay this way or not remains to be seen.

Out of the 5 tracks on the EP my favourites have to be the opener, ‘Babes Vs Hunks’, which has some lovely guitar twiddles, and the 3rd track, ‘Pizza Teeth’, which is probably the most pop-y and memorable of the EP.

Both of these tracks maintain a sense of laid-back dynamism (if that is even a thing) and I think they are the best showcases of Tribal Fighters sound.

The remixes which take up the second (and actually longer) portion of the EP do a really good job of bringing out a different musical sound. Out of the three remixes, my favourite by far is the first one – not because it is the shortest, although I must admit I did start to lose some interest in the 12 minute Borland remix of ‘Weaked It’ around the half-way mark – but mostly because it has an upbeat melancholy to it, which, when seeing who the remix was done by, isn’t surprising (The Narrows).

The criticism I would lay on ‘Brave Men Can’t Party’ is that it is quite repetitive throughout, and while the sound it has does work, it doesn’t attempt to explore any other avenues. For a 16 minute EP (not including the remixes here) this doesn’t matter so much, but for a full length album I feel they would need to expand upon their sound somehow to produce a more varied output.

In short, this EP is more than worth a listen, and has a deserved place in the collections of anyone who loves instrumental rock, but I feel that for it to have been a truly ‘great’ EP, Tribal Fighters would have had to add a bit more variety and mix it up a little bit with some other ideas.

Released August 19th on Cognitive Dissonance.

Posted by James Galley.

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