The Tamborines
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The Tamborines

London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom
Band Alternative Rock




"CMJ Sonicbids Spotlight feature"

The field of lo-fi indie duos is crowded these days, forcing reviewers to use words like “jangly” a lot and reference Velvet Underground ad nausem. Not that that wouldn’t apply well to the Tamborines, it’s just that there’s so much more to Henrique Laurindo (guitar, vocals) and Lulu Grave (drums, synth). Laurindo and Grave started out recording in a West London flat, releasing EPs on their own record label, Beat-Mo, including their debut Camera And Tremor last year. The record they’d produced themselves won acclaim for its blend of shoegazer reverb drone and pop finesse.

The pop approach to vocals grounds the Tamborines’ songs, while Laurindo’s omnipresent guitar buzzes away on tracks like “Sally O’Gannon” and “31st Floor.” Grave’s drumming is steady, never getting fancy, serving to anchor the tracks while she goes off on synth expeditions. What at first appears modestly built proves to be expansive and intricate once you’ve stepped inside. Laurindo’s vocals share commonalities with Lou Reed’s, but to say it’s the same misses the mark—his voice is goose down compared to Reed’s gravely grate. When it’s Graves’ turn to sing, she’s in line with Nico from The Velvet Underground And Nico.

The album cover for Camera And Tremor is the tips of two pairs of shoes pointed at each other. The slight blur to the picture is almost certainly intentional. The music on the album is hazy, a clear central image ringed with fuzz. That may be the best way to describe the album—pop music but blurry pop music. The structure of the Tamborines’ music borrows from strong roots in indie guitar and drums but bends what we know to form a new picture. Declaring the death of shoegazer may have been premature then, if the Tamborines have anything to say about it we’ll all be staring at our shoes.

The Tamborines plays Trash Bar on Saturday, October 22 as part of CMJ. - CMJ

""Sally O'Gannon" Review - NME"

"(...) Sally O'Gannon's chugging riffola, metronomic Velvet Underground-drums and swirling organs (...)" - NME

""Camera & Tremor" Review - PopMatters"

"Pop Confections Swathed in Superfuzz Distortion. Yummy.
The record cover serves as a mission statement: shoegaze isn’t dead. Two pairs of black patent leather shoes stare back at the viewer in a hazy black-and-white blur. Match that to an album with thick swathes of fuzzed-out guitar that wrap themselves sinuously around these poppiest of song structures, overlaid with Henrique Laurindo’s ethereal vocals. Keyboards both support the songs’ basic structure and serve as incidental punctuation for the sonic palette. Laurindo plays guitar and does the lion’s share of the singing, while Lulu Grave pilots the keyboards and lends her equally dreamy voice, for the most part, to unexpected interludes and harmonies.

The ingredients are simple, but as with fine cooking, simple ingedients can provide a gourmet meal. Elaborate embellishment is unnecessary if the basic ingredients are fresh and wholesome enough. That is the case here: the songs are lively and surprising and need no further tweaking. It helps that thay’re played with conviction, too.

While the sound is hardly what one conjures up from the phrase “guitar band”, the guitar is very much the dominant texture here. It is used like a blunt instrument on opener “31st Floor” before kicking into a jittery shuffle for “Come Together” and heavily processed rumble for “What Took You So Long”. “Naissance de la Folie” slows the tempo a bit, with acoustic strumming in place of superfuzz bigmuff and Grave’s organ doing the heavy lifting required to propel the song. “Sally O’Gannon” features a melody reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Rain”, but with a catchier chorus and distortion enough to drown in.

Most songs here are in the three-to-four minute range, with a couple topping five. Classic pop structures, in other words. “On Yr Own” and “Falling Slowly”, among others, are more or less perfect pop songs featuring catchy melodies, simple-but-effective chorsuses, and chord progressions that just feel right. Think of Elastica’s first record: this is nobody’s idea of envelope-pushing popular music, but it rocks convincingly and the songs will stick in your head for days.

“I trip inside / I trip inside / I trip inside your wired mind”, Laurindo declares in a typically oblique lyric from “31st Floor”. The singer’s fairly one-note subject matter parses countless facets of interpersonal relationships, generally involving a degree of heartbreak and wistfulness. “I do not care if you have me there / Not even I can make you see things through the light”, he intones on “Looking Glass House”, just before the distortion kicks in to melt your headphones. Really, though, any song from the set would serve as an equally apt example of his lyrical concerns. “I threw myself into your sea / No words can set me free”, declares album closer “The Great Division”.

Ultimately, the lyrics are only one contributor to the overriding vibe of the record. The heartache and uncertainty expressed in many of the lyrics are undercut by other elements. Rolling tempos, lilting melodies, and chirpy organ all combine to create a sense of positivity—a kind of optimistic angst, if you will.

Yep, shoegaze ain’t dead by a long shot. This excellent debut shows that there is plenty of life in the genre yet. With any luck, the Tamborines will be around for a while to explore it for us."
7/10 - PopMatters

""Camera & Tremor" Review - The Music Fix"

"A weekend in London coincides with finalising my thoughts on this terrific debut. Traipsing through Covent Garden, I chance upon an unmistakeable stare. Liam Gallagher’s baby blues, blown up to mammoth proportions, fill the window display of his new boutique. My good lady, curious as ever, drags me in. Pfft. For a few rails of £35 t-shirts, I’d say the security was as over the top as the pricing but the anoraked forty-somethings squeak their Adidas in sheepish approval. Gah. Our Liam, by the way, according to a Sunday Times I nab on the tube, rates just three bands these days. Apparently, only Kasabian, The Coral and “a bit of Arctic Monkeys” cut the mustard. Jeez. For a band who sold over 600,000 copies of their second album in the first week alone, thus demolishing for ever the safe haven from which alternative music maintained a critical distance from the infections of the mainstream, Oasis (like their bedraggled city) have so much to answer for. F*** ‘em, eh? If you like your Alternative vaguely alternative, look in here. If you recall with teary fondness an age in which guitar bands dressed like men (rather than sportsmen or children), in which the colour black provided colour, in which musicality reigned and women were welcomed as equals, here’s yet another sign to suggest all is not lost. The Tamborines are f***ing immense. They scorch my starved sensibilities and offer inflamed approval to the above manifesto. (Don’t tell me it’s not a manifesto. It’s a manifesto.)

Crunching, overdriven-beyond-sense riffola and gloriously ghostly vocals frame The Tamborines’ rock ‘n’ roll excesses. Camera and Tremor, despite its gentle heart, its daft soft centre (love in tatters features heavily) and the odd gear change into minor chord balladry, blows the house down. They are Henrique and Lulu. I consider doing a bit of research then abandon it in favour of keeping them as shadowy as their music; the less I know about them at this stage, the more lazily, the more thrillingly I can fall for them. There is time yet to find out where they’re from, how old they are and what cheese they like. For now, I picture leather, pointy shoes and clouds of smoke. As it should be.

The songs are Velvets fuzz through a filter of Mary Chain melodies. At times I catch a whiff of classic Ride or a taste of BRMC. If The Raveonettes float it for you or you nod approvingly every time you see some callow youth in that Daydream Nation t-shirt, then this will be for you. ‘31st Floor’ is the album’s incendiary start and paves the way for The Tamborines’ lovelorn, dreamscapes: “If what you want I cannot give / And words just let you down / Through this darkest dream I'll come / To tell you what I found.” ‘Come Together’, as rampant as it is insanely catchy, gets you believing that this could be it. By the they take a (slight) breather with ‘What Took You so Long’, anything is possible. Fuzzed up and scuzzed up, The Tamborines are as “Black!” as The Fast Show’s Johnny Nice Painter. But they drone in sumptious colour. The closing ‘The Great Division’, thrillingly epic and drawn out, seals the deal, its climactic change of gear irresistible.

Perspective? Well, to quote that great sage David St. Hubbins, you can have “too much f***ing perspective.” This may well be an album awash with its influences. It may well, upon deeper inspection, prove to have nary a single original idea across its eleven tracks. Like I care. Reinvention done with such precision and poise is never to be sniffed at. Camera and Tremor, it pains me to say, is probably twenty years past its sell by date. Amidst the clamour and clang of that glorious late 80s UK indie scene, The Tamborines would have made a home for themselves, filled university halls the length and breadth of the land and fired up the youth with merely a toss of their (black) mops. 2010, still obsessed with what the dopey Gallaghers will do now they’ve finally filed for divorce, just seems too tame to offer radicals like these anything but a supporting role. I pray that I’m wrong."
8/10 - The Music Fix

""Camera & Tremor" Review - Loud & Quiet"

"Last year The Horrors claimed that they’d made an exhilarating summer album that encapsulated the feeling of running down a hill. ‘Camera & Tremor’ is this year’s equivalent, of sorts. Its dreamy shoe-gaze is less marred by gloom than the Southend punks’ ‘Primary Colours’, but there’s a lot of similar influences here, including the Velvets and a healthy smothering of The Jesus & Mary Chain. After an OK start of BRMC-ish, motorific cool, the band’s debut really gets going around ‘Falling Slowly’, which has the whole hill-running thing going on, but the legs of those that stampede under an acid washed sky belong to the cast of The Breakfast Club. Its nostalgic innocence makes it an album highlight, as is ‘Sally O’Gannon’, for its baggy psyche whine that could have been Ride’s best song. For fans of no-nonsense, up-beat shoegaze, it’s hard to beat."
- Loud and Quiet

""Sally O'Gannon" Review - Drowned in Sound"


The above is not a new variation in Morse Code, but simply the most sono-lithic way to describe the opening 20 seconds or so of 'Sally O'Gannon'. You see, what The Tamborines have mastered here could be summed up as the art of simple arithmetic; White Noise + Immobile Drone x Pop Sensibility = The Most Exciting Tune since heroin was considered _so_ passe. Quite simply, this is where the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club should have ended up during their elongated country-rock hiatus, or even The Brian Jonestown Massacre if they'd been a bit more careful with their hefty stash of downers once in a while.

Sure, you can argue that The Tamborines are following a well-trodden path; this record bears all the hallmarks of The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and even the earliest blurtings of The Velvet Underground. But in a world where radio-friendly means indie-lite a la The Feeling, Razorlight and Orson, this is a welcome slap around the ears that can only breathe a hearty gust of fresh air into a staid genre, penetrate the mainstream and topple Sandi Thom from her flowery throne once and for all. We wish.

Who's 'Sally O'Gannon' I hear you ask? Beats me, but if she has a sister that can inspire anything as dizzyingly beautiful as this then she can come round mine for tea anytime."
9/10 - Drowned in Sound

"What's on NME Stereo - 31st Floor"

"Forthcoming single from the Brazilian drone-pop trio. Sounds like The Byrds on some very bad acid. Amazing!" - NME

"What's on NME stereo - Come Together"

"The Beatles, MC5, Spiritualized, Primal Scream...they've all had songs with the same title, but this anthemic indie-rocker is up there with the best of them." - NME

""Camera & Tremor" Review - Kitten Painting"

"It’s very late. Or maybe really early. You find yourself on a narrow sidestreet you’ve never really paid much attention to before. Sound throbs from an open doorway and you step closer to investigate. There’s a shabby corridor painted deep red, steep steps that lead you into a dimly lit basement room. It’s loud in here. Very loud. The noise is disorientating and you put out a hand to balance yourself. Turns out you’re clutching the edge of the bar, so you order yourself a drink. It’s vodka or nothing here. A pure, clean rush. It burns satisfyingly on your lips as you flick your eyes across the crowd. Everyone’s dressed entirely in black. Some of them wear sunglasses and move languidly through the noise as if it’s physically restraining them. Some shake their heavy fringes in time to the ricochet drumbeats.
A man’s voice singing, “I trip inside your wired mind”. There’s a band onstage. Shaky Super 8 film flickers across the back wall and camouflages the players. You see an eye here, a hand there, a pointy boot, a perfect bowlcut. Three people are making that colossal sound. Guitar and keyboard growl and throb, whine and shimmer whilst the drummer hammers it all home. It’s heavy and it makes you want to move. To nod your head and stamp your feet. You move closer to the stage and let the music judder through you, sound-waves pulsing the air around your face.

Then you’re taken by surprise. A tambourine shaken HARD splits the dissonance. There’s sweetness amongst the snarl. The fuzz ‘n’ distortion crowd are here because they like a hit of POP with their raw power. A taste of honey with their bouquet of barbed wire kisses. Here are tunes that dip and glide and make you feel secretly serene. You realise that these songs are going to be indelibly inked into your mind from now on. There’ll always be a swooping melody or a keyboard line tumbling over and over to rush you along through the tumult. The noise is building again, pedals are stomped, strings are scratched, four notes on the keyboard that won’t take no for an answer. Ultra-white strobe lights shiver on and off, on and off, on and off, slicing up the room into disconnected slivers off space and time…

You wake on Sunday Morning. In your head there’s a honey bee buzz. Unfurling your clenched fingers you find you’re clutching a scrap of paper. Written in tiny letters, all lower-case, it says, ‘camera & tremor’." - Kitten Painting

""Camera & Tremor" Review - Shortlist Mag"

"London duo Henrique Laurindo and Lulu Grave have honed the scuzzy, bleary-eyed guitar sound of The Velvet Underground and The Byrds, push it through a Nineties grunge-o-meter and still manage to sound ridiculously fresh and exciting." - Shortlist Magazine

"The Times Playlist - Camera & Tremor"

"A heady burst of fuzzed-up guitar pop"
- The Times

"What's on NME Stereo - Sally O'Gannon"

"Insanely catchy chorus + INCREDIBLY LOUD GUITARS = perfect pop music" - NME


"BLACK & BLUE" - 7" single - July 2011 - Soft Power / Beat-Mo Records (UK)
"CAMERA & TREMOR" - LP - Aug 2010 - Beat-Mo Records (UK) / Vinyl Junkie (JP)
"SONIC BUTTERFLIES" - split 7" - 2009 - Custom Made Music (US)
"31ST FLOOR/COME TOGETHER" - 7" single - 2008 - Beat-Mo Records(UK)
"SALLY O'GANNON" - EP - 2007 - Planting Seeds Records (US)
"SALLY O'GANNON/BE AROUND" - 7" single - 2006 - Sonic Cathedral (UK)



The Tamborines are a fuzz indie rock band which came to being when core duo Henrique Laurindo and Lulu Grave started recording their songs on a 4-track tape recorder in their own bedroom in West London.

With a true DIY attitude the duo took a couple of years building their own studio where they recorded and produced debut album Camera & Tremor which was released in the summer of 2010 on the band's own imprint BeatMo Records. Packed with amazingly crafted classic three minute songs, the album drops hints of the noir displayed by the Velvets, the fuzz of the Mary Chain and the lo-fi pop of Guided By Voices, all packed with a Sonic Youth-fuelled attitude. However, Camera & Tremor shows that The Tamborines have developed a sound of their own which has been accurately described as a scalding blast of sculptured noise.

The band has just finished recording their second album and most recent double A side single Black & Blue / Indian Hill gives hints of what to expect: pure pop rush, distilling the wooziness of C86 with a runaway Bo Diddley beat and adding a saccharine sweet melody for good measure.

The new songs have been on heavy rotation on BBC 6music (played by Steve Lamacq, Lauren Lavern, Tom Robinson and Gideon Cole) and several indie stations around the globe and song What Took You So Long from Camera & Tremor has recently reached #58 at the ITunes Chart in Spain.

Band Members