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The Modern Tribe

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Album Review

Few albums are as perfectly named as Celebration's The Modern Tribe. As sophisticated as it is wild, this is the album where the band gets to the unique heart of their music. It's more restrained than their striking, self-titled debut was, but it never sounds boring — on the contrary, Celebration's mix of post-punk, dance-punk, soul, pop, and whatever else they feel like is a potent one; once again, it's helmed by Katrina Ford's remarkable voice. The Modern Tribe's streamlined songs allow her voice to tower even taller than it did on the band's debut, whether she's making the shimmering single "Evergreen" even more delicately beautiful, or snarling about a "wicked wayward son" on the rockabillyish rave-up "Fly the Fly." Ford's singing is even more versatile than comparisons would suggest — she can sound like Elizabeth Fraser, Siouxsie Sioux, Nina Simone, and Polly Jean Harvey in the course of one song — and the rest of Celebration follows suit. While it's easy to hear why the band is friends with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio (the YYYs' Nick Zinner and all of TV on the Radio appear on The Modern Tribe, and David Sitek reprises his role as producer), Celebration brings their own identity to this musical territory. The Modern Tribe contrasts radiant songs with dark, frantic ones in a fascinating chiaroscuro flicker. "Tame the Savage" sounds like it's lit by a "curious moon," raw and sensual at the same time, while "Our Hearts Don't Change" sounds like a classic love song after it's been floating around the stars for a few light-years. On the flip side, "Pony" and "Wild Cats" are exhilarating, simultaneously urban and feral, capturing how a dance or a night out can feel like a chase. Best of all is "Hands Off My Gold," a tour de force of tingling percussion and urgent brass that is The Modern Tribe's sexiest moment and proves how vital drummer/percussionist David Bergander is to the band. Not only does this album live up to its name, Celebration does as well — The Modern Tribe is the sound of a joyous, complicated band coming into its own.

Customer Reviews

Still feeling every living thing...but even more intensely!

'The Modern Tribe' is excellent both on its own terms and in relation to what Celebration has done previously. Although comparisons to TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are lazily thrown out by many reviewers (due to some direct collaborations among them all), Celebration has its own driving sound that gets mind and body moving and sort of reminds me of nightmare circus disco at the same time. To me, the double-edged "shamans with amps" effect that comes to mind when I hear 'Tribe' is more than enough reason to recommend the album. Standout tracks include 'Evergreen,' 'Heartbreak', and 'Tame the Savage', although frankly I like 'em all. Since the earlier days of Love Life and Birdland, these three artists have made Baltimore proud and kicked the rest of the world's...well, you get the idea...

a solid sophomore album

the first tracks (namely "Evergreen" and "Heartbreak') really flaunt the impressive, elevating compositions Celebration can make with their unique sound. a good portion of the album feels very much like more of their first self-titled album (also quite good, if you like these tracks check out "Holiday" and "Stars" from that album), but those two tracks, plus a few more later in the album - especially 'Our Hearts Don't Change" - really warrant a purchase. and if you ever have the chance to see them live, take'll be amazed how rich and enjoyable a soundscape three people can make.

Thrill !

Celebration is the wedding band for the marriage of an infinitely expanding crystal mind and the last gasp of air before ascending to the depths of the sky sea. Sexy, progressive & energetic, Celebration have given birth to another great record. If you can’t feel it, check your pulse, maybe you’re dead.


Formed: 2004 in California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Baltimore, Maryland's eclectic but always passionate group Celebration features vocalist/percussionist Katrina Ford, multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis, drummer David Bergander, keyboardist/percussionist Tony Drummond, and bassist/guitarist Walker Teret. Ford and Antanaitis -- who are also husband and wife -- started out in Ann Arbor's chaotic, early-'90s noise-punk band Jaks, where Ford began to explore the formidable vocal style that would shape the sound of all of the couple's future musical...
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The Modern Tribe, Celebration
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Customer Ratings