The ever-evolving sound and direction of Sound Tribe Sector 9 has led to some of the most progressive tracks the band has ever produced on their new album, “The Universe Inside.”  A preview for the single, ‘Get Loud,’ was leaked on Amazon on July 28th. The preview was only 30 seconds long but quickly gained the attention of every serious tribe fan as it spread across social media. Soon after its leak the content was removed and rumors began to fly. With no response from the band there were many questions left unanswered. Was the leak intentional? Was the August 2nd release date going to happen?

To the delight of fans across the universe, everything was legit. On August 2nd, ‘Get Loud,’ was released as a single along with, ‘Supercluster.’ However, that wasn’t all. Previews emerged for eleven other tracks. All of a sudden everyone in the jam scene was talking about STS9. Critics were vocal about what they did and didn’t like. Reviews varied greatly amongst the fans – despite the limited release and only partial previews of the rest. Amongst all the buzz one thing was very clear: STS9 has one of the toughest crowds ever.

Why? This is likely because their sound has changed so much over the years. Lots of fans were gained throughout the course of their musical journey, so everyone has different preference on what they find appealing. Right off the bat it seemed that everyone was being overly critical. This was confirmed with the release of a third song from the album, ‘Give & Take.’ This track features Maureen Murphy, who has performed with the band on multiple occasions, including this past New Years run at the Tabernacle in Atlanta Georgia. If tribe wants to add lyrics, Maureen is definitely the go to. This lady straight up has pipes and isn’t afraid to belt it. Despite this, some fans let the hate and darkness flow through them.

To be fair, they are somewhat justified. The band has never really had lyrics. Most of their vocals were samples controlled by midi pads. It seems that the band is headed in a new direction, but that is their choice. This decision was made in early 2014 when David Murphy left the band due to a difference in opinion over its musical direction. If you consider yourself a true fan of the band and you didn’t see this change coming, you might actually be a custy noob and not the heady wook you think you are.
Being overly critical of artists isn’t fucking cool. They work really hard to create beautiful music for their fans, and that isn’t a simple task when you have an overly critical crowd. Its important to be open minded, because that is what this community was founded on. For years most tribe songs allowed the fans to create their own narrative, which inspired connection and harmony. Let’s remember where we came from and try to have enough respect for the band to listen to the message that they’re projecting to their fans.

From a musical stand point the album screams hot ham. Alana slays funky hot bass lines all over the album, and the classic HBae soaring guitar riffs are a welcomed familiarity. This album seems to share similar characteristics to older tracks by the band and could serve as jam vehicles for seamless transitions. With a release date of September 2nd, the album drops just a week prior to their Red Rocks double header. September 9th and 10th the Hot Hamily will ascend Red Rocks to see what is truly in store for the universe inside.