Celebration: The Modern Tribe

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Celebration: The Modern Tribe

Baltimore trio creates own brand of euphoria on sophomore album

Leave it to a 4AD band

to name itself “Celebration” and then spend an entire album trying to reinvent the term. More arty than party, Celebration’s music doesn’t get loose so much as it constricts itself, forming rhythm-heavy knots of sound. The album title actually makes for a better indicator of the band’s style: tribal pulses wrapped up in a metallic exterior. From the tightly wound drone of “Pressure” to the ethereal crests and troughs of “Comets,” Celebration always ?nds a way to twist its relatively limited arsenal (vocals, organ and drums) into any number of hypnotic arrangements.

Several members of TV on the Radio make guest appearances on the album (including Dave Sitek as producer), bolstering a comparison that was already a bit too tempting to make. When vocalist Katrina Ford trades howls with TVotR’s Kyp Malone on “Hands Off My Gold,” it’s apparent just how tailor-made these two groups are for each other. They’re comrades in the war against conventionality in rock music—and heaven knows they could use a few more allies.

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