Three things about Celebration piqued my interest when I first heard of them: they're tight with TV On The Radio, they're on 4AD records, and they're local.
I was excited to hear TV On The Radio's David Sitek work as a producer instead of a band member; 4AD has one of the best track records of any independent label out there; and even though I'm sadly ignorant about the local Baltimore scene, I know we've got more than our fair share of really good bands.
Needless to say, I was very happy when I spotted The Modern Tribe on the shelf at the EPFL.
Celebration sits at a point midway between TV On The Radio and The Creatures. It has the relentless creativity and energy that both bands possess, and it combines the unusual-yet-catchy songwriting of the former with the driving percussion and horns of the latter.
The Modern Tribe gets better with each listen. My initial reactions were lukewarm, but I've been listening to the CD for a few weeks now. I put it in my stereo this morning, and I caught myself singing along with every song and getting more and more excited as the disc progressed. It's the same reaction I had to TV On The Radio's Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, which eventually became one of my very favorite albums of the past decade. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if The Modern Tribe ends up having the same kind of hold on me.
As soon as I'm done writing this, I'm heading over to Sound Garden to pick up a copy of The Modern Tribe. I guess that probably speaks louder than any of the words I've written here, doesn't it?
The cover is bizarre. It looks like some kind of stage set from an awards show or a bad '70s TV variety program. It's got the dancing girls and everything. The text is printed in a metallic gold foil, which is a very nice (and expensive) touch. The thing is, the cover isn't a very good representation of the music. I'm not certain what kind of artwork would best accompany the music, but it's not this. In fact, I almost skipped right over this on the EPFL's shelves, because I assumed it was some sort of dodgy compilation of party tunes.
Listen if you like: TV On The Radio, The Creatures / Siouxsie and the Banshees, PJ Harvey's later albums, Lydia Lunch, Nick Cave
If it were food, it'd be: Stuffed jalapeno peppers