Tribe After Tribe

While the indigenous pop we’ve heard lately from Africa and the Middle East can be scintillating, sometimes the efforts of musicians from these countries to make traditional rock & roll can be a bit outre. Tribe After Tribe, a seething power trio from South Africa, does better than most. The sound is still throwbacky — far too much like U2 than is healthy for any band — but singer-songwriter-guitarist Robbi Robb knows how to put pedal to the floor in a swirling mass of harmonics and riffs. The band left South Africa in 1987 to make it in L.A., but they are still concerned about politics back home. In Tribe After Tribe, Robb has a lot of anger, and on songs like ”What Are We Now” and ”Poor Afrika” it comes through. Elsewhere he takes refuge in cliche, both musically and lyrically. But he’s smart enough to cover with the roar of his voice and the surge of his guitar. B

Tribe After Tribe
  • Music