Monday, November 14, 2011

CD Review: Tribe - Abort

Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 1991.

The Boston-based band Tribe aggressively tears into domestic life on its debut effort, Abort, turning up domineering parents, abusive boyfriends, and holiday get-togethers that dissolve into accusations and resentment. As lead vocalist Janet LaValley sings on “Daddy’s Home,” a tale of an alcoholic father, “It’s just a madhouse anyway.” Even the simple joy of buying a lottery ticket is transformed into “Jackpot,” which ridicules the fantasy of finding happiness via state-sponsored gambling.

Tribe succeeds in wrapping these raw emotions in consistently hypnotic post-modern rock. “Here At The Home” drifts in with operatic female harmonies before Eric Brosius’s guitar breaks through like a thunderbolt through a cumulus cloud. The haunting “Easter Dinner” benefits from the keyboard work of Terri Barous, who also provides backup vocals on several songs. A walk in the woods provides a romantic setting for “Serenade,” one of Abort’s few optimistic moments, while the first single and video, “Joyride” sets adventurous vocals to a driving beat and irresistible melody.


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