SCREAMING TRIBESMEN (Buy CDs by this artist)
EP (Aus. no label) 1982
Move a Little Closer EP (What Goes On) 1984
Date with a Vampyre EP (What Goes On) 1985
Top of the Town EP (Aus. Rattlesnake) 1986
Bones + Flowers (Aus. Survival) 1987 (Rykodisc) 1988
Take Cover EP (Aus. Survival) 1989
There's nothing tribal about the sound of these Aussies, and they don't scream either. Their music is full of pop-song harmonies, including "oohh" and "ahh" background singing, jangle chords and repeated refrains. From beginnings as a post-Ramones punky ensemble (on the first four-track EP), they've gone through an assortment of members and sonic textures but all of their releases have been exercises in good old pop-rock. Move a Little Closer, a compilation of the band's first two Australian singles ("Igloo" and "A Stand Alone") could easily mix and match with a stack of mod-revival albums, while the squealier and grungier guitar chords of Date with a Vampyre (also four songs) nudge their sound closer to garage territory.
Top of the Town contains six songs by a new lineup that reveals an ongoing transition towards more mainstream pop-rock. "You Better Run" is the most impressive track, and a fair precursor to the excellent Bones + Flowers. The album launches the Tribesmen into a new international league, offering richly played rock-melody songwriting (by ex-Radio Birdman guitarist/pianist/producer Chris "Klondike" Masuak and singer/guitarist Mick Medew) that's got all the needed attributes for major stardom. Standouts: a new version of "Igloo," the wittily '60sish "Our Time at Last," the peppy Anglo-popping "Dream Away" and the Rockpiling "Living Vampire." The CD has two bonus tracks.
Despite the album's appeal and high commercial prospects, nothing much came of Bones + Flowers. By the time of the disappointing 1989 12-inch (five songs, including covers of Lou Reed and the Dictators), Medew was the only member remaining from the LP's lineup.[Andrea 'Enthal/Ira Robbins]
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