Robbers on High Street

25 Jul

The Robbers on High Street are back, although I can safely say that my 13.98 certainly wasn’t stolen. Grand Animals, which was produced by Daniele Luppi (of Gnarls Barkley fame), contains a few familiar gems like “The Fatalist” and “Married Young” among heavy-hitting winners like “Crown Victoria”. Unlike the 2005 effort of Tree City however, the band has tried to explore new territories with slow ballads like “The Ramp” and the sweet slowcore of “Your Phantom Walks the Hall” (which inevitably reminds me of Beulah).

Although there have been many comparisons of the Robbers to Spoon, I sure didn’t enjoy Kill the Moonlight as much as I did Tree City. Ben Trokan’s cowboy crooning does evoke some Britt Daniel, but Spoon’s sound is much more terse. Let me explain further: whereas Spoon exhumes a certain mood from a psyche that you’ve forgotten, the Robbers on High Street prick the very part of you that’s been waiting to let loose. There’s a behavior to their music that takes on a whole new life when put into an album.

My favorite song on the album is probably “Nasty Numbers”; the melody moves around like a pretty girl in a slinky dress. the vocals, guitar, and drums all work uncluttered with a simple manner that’s very enheartening. It’s a great song to put on a mixtape for a long roadtrip when all you wanna do is throw your seat back and rest your feet on the dash. “You Don’t Stand a Chance” is a close contender, though, with its funky groove and soulful organ. The instrumentals contrast against the somber lyrics, which revolve around working oppressive jobs for the corporate Man. Although I don’t care much for the last two songs, they are appropriate closers. This was a decent sophomore effort for a band that’s been taking their chops from Elvis Costello and the Kinks. I’d still rather shell my money out on Gax5 though, that’s for sure.

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