“Why is country music successful?” Ask any true fan of the genre this question, and they’ll give virtually the same answer: It smoothly and consistently makes listeners feel good. But why does this cookie-cutter genre keep succeeding in the same space without ever truly changing? For most die-hard fans, these good feelings often derive from reoccurring saccharine-smothered concepts that they simply cannot get stop absorbing. Reciting these themes is no strenuous task. Drinking beers, summer nights, hanging out with friends…the ideas are all plain and transparent, but the feeling is dreamy and tough to replicate.
Ironically enough, Tribes seem to have utilized what I’d consider to be the “country music technique” in their construction of the defiant punk rock jam “We Were Children”. Despite residing outside a universally admired genre, they fire a slew of proverbial idealistic bullets that catch the listener off guard with a feeling of unexpected affinity. After wasting no time hopping on the beloved “Sunday afternoon” motif, Tribes span generations through lines meant to win over large crowds with the flicker of a nostalgic eye. Any 90’s kid (which essentially represents half of media-consuming millennials) joins attractively edgy company in a chorus that proudly exclaims “Stranger you’re just like me. These things happen, we were children in the mid-90’s.”. Tribes understand the like-minded crowd they attempt to appeal to with this aged message, as “We Were Children” plays into the lost art of the 90’s songs that originally birthed to concept of alternative rock decades ago. This provocative and unifying Brit-rock tune offers an gritty and exciting representation to kicking the weekend’s ass, all the while playing into publicly relished subjects that country songs have employed for years: unification, empathy, and common sentiment.