Tribesmen Get Boxed in New Video for “Alpine”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 29th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The desert continues to fascinate. Dual-guitar four-piece Tribesmen make their home in Coachella, California (never heard of it), and their instrumental approach definitely takes some cues from the airy tones of Yawning Man that one imagines are just floating by on hot, dry desert winds, but that’s not quite the end of their base of influence on their latest single, “Alpine.” A strong undercurrent of post-rock à la Russian Circles or, to keep with vocal-less acts, Explosions in the Sky, emerges as the new song plays out its five-minute course, the video featuring the band performing one at a time and then all together in the Coachella Valley Art Center with various projections on and around them. The guitars of Wilber Pacheco and Alec Paul Corral are a big distinguishing factor, coming together periodically for a wash of ringing echo when not exploring their own whims over the foundation made firm by bassist Leslie Romero and drummer Freddy Jiminez, and that gives a somewhat psychedelic feel, but in both their presence in the video and in the meter of the song itself, they show little tendency toward shoegazing.

While that’s the case for “Alpine,” it’s not universally true, as the dreamy sprawl of “Under the Ice” from Tribesmen‘s 2013 EP, Blue, demonstrates. There, Romero‘s bass plays an even more considerable role in providing the anchor around which the guitars wisp, but with “Alpine,” it’s more about the four members all working together on a singular linear build, Jiminez signaling a next stage in the takeoff at around 2:30 in with a steady kick-line where previously he’d been mostly adding to the ambience on cymbals and toms. A break to quiet atmospherics is answered with more fervent pulsating just before the four-minute mark, and what stems from there is where the post-rock element is really most evident, because instead of going for an all-out heavy payoff, they run a few rounds through a kind of indie boogie that comes as a genuine surprise with what precedes. Given the fluidity they’re able to craft, I’m inclined to think of stepping back from that kind of precipice as a conscious choice rather than a songwriting fluke on the part of a young band, but either way, it’s ultimately this restraint that winds up as the most lasting impression of the track.

Tribesmen have a couple singles and the EP available as pay-what-you-want downloads via their Bandcamp, and it seems fodder for an investigation. Post-desert rock? As I said, that part of the world continues to fascinate.

Tribesmen, “Alpine” official video

Tribesmen on Thee Facebooks

Tribesmen on Bandcamp

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