Michael Kiwanuka, Tribes – This Week’s Singles Reviewed

NME’s Lisa Wright reviews this week’s singles, featuring Tribes, Sound Of Guns, and BBC Sound Of 2012 poll winner Michael Kiwanuka.


Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Home Again’
With husky pipes scientifically tooled to tickle the ovaries, Kiwanuka should be soundtracking adverts for massage oil and singing about meeting girls on a Monday and having her undercrackers on his floor by Tuesday. Yet this ballad is about as sexy as watching your parents smooch to Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs: sweet, but a thoroughly pants-on moment.

Skepta – ‘Hold On’
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Skepta, armed with My First Book Of Opposites. “Never count the days / I make the days count” he bleats over generic beats before informing us that he also “swims when you wanna to see me drown”, “stands up when they wanna see me down” and “smiles when you wanna see me frown”. Raps when you wanna see him shut his trap too.

Diagrams- ‘Tall Buildings’
You know when you’re thinking, “Yeah, Everything Everything are fine but I wish they’d stop being so original. I mean, why can’t they just make something a bit more obvious? And would it kill you to put some handclaps in there? I sure as hell can’t be arsed to untangle this falsetto bollocks too.” Come on down, Diagrams!

Nicola Roberts – ‘Yo-Yo’
Not a cuss-ridden introduction to Nicola’s re-emergence as an English Syd Tha Kyd, but a questionable metaphor about being like a crap ’90s toy. It’s not a patch on ‘Beat Of My Drum’, but despite all kinds of self-consciously quirky lines about “wearing different coloured socks on each foot because she don’t conform to no rules” (or something), we still wanna be her friend.

Tribes – ‘We Were Children’
I, like Tribes, was a “child in the mid-90s”. I had a shit time. My love for Robbie Williams went unrequited, I got teased for wearing a rucksack despite them clearly having superior health benefits and then the Spice Girls split up. So you can take your beery anthemics somewhere else guys; you’re not “just like me” at all. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ME, MAN. (NB: This track is actually fucking great though).

Sound Of Guns – ‘Silicon Distiller’
Oh Christ, I thought this had all died already. Sound Of Guns are like some horrible bastard offspring of The Bravery, White Lies and Stereophonics; all bland, chugging statements with less than nothing to actually say. If Tribes make you wanna be in their gang, Sound Of Guns make you wanna form a gang to inflict some damage on the A&R men that keep allowing this to happen.

This article originally appeared in the January 7th issue of NME

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